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Panasonic AX-802 50-inch 4K TV with Freetime EPG

Panasonic slaps Freetime EPG on 2014 smart tellies

Pics Freetime's neat, easy-to-navigate electronic programme guide (EPG) has never been a feature of standalone TVs, but at a joint event in London this week, its new partner Panasonic announced it will feature on 90 per cent of the panel maker’s 2014 TV range. If you're based in the UK and the name Freetime rings a bell, it's …
Bob Dormon, 14 Mar 2014
Barnes and Noble Microsoft deal, credit: Microsoft

Barnes & Noble's Nook freed from Windows, WinPhone apps pledge

Barnes & Noble's struggling Nook e-book division can breathe a little easier, now that Microsoft has let the bookseller off the hook on its promise to offer e-reader apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone. Redmond pumped $300m into Nook back in 2012, in a deal that gave it a 17.5 per cent stake in B&N's underperforming e-book …
Neil McAllister, 14 Mar 2014

FANBOIS' EYES ONLY: United Airlines offers FREE MOVIES on iOS kit

High-flying fanbois will soon be able to use their iPhone, fondleslab or laptop to watch free video content on United Airlines flights. Apple and United have struck a deal which will allow users of iStuff – running iOS 7 – to watch 50 movies and almost 200 TV shows free of charge. However, fandroids shouldn't get any ideas just …
Jasper Hamill, 13 Mar 2014
Homer Simpson

Universal Music mulls 'all you can eat' buffet of song downloads

Universal Music Group (UMG) is developing an online service that offers unlimited music downloads for a monthly subscription. That news comes from The LA Times, which was treated to a PowerPoint presentation by the record giant's execs. The end result of that briefing was this profile of Universal Music's British boss Lucian …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Mar 2014

eBay takes a small bite out of execs' bonuses

eBay chief exec John Donahoe's take-home pay has shrunk by half compared to last year, partly because the online tat-bazaar's financial performance didn't live up to expectations. Donahoe was paid $13.8m in wages and bonuses for 2013, down 53 per cent from the whopping $29.7m he trousered for the previous year. "The Committee …
BBC iPlayer

Netflix needling you? BBC pimps up iPlayer ahead of BBC3 move

The BBC unveiled a much-needed front-end makeover for its sprawling iPlayer service today – while dodging the inevitable questions about subscriptions. The corporation has updated iPlayer to take on commercial subscription rivals like Netflix, with shows available for longer – 30 days, subject to Trust approval. The details of …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Mar 2014
Peril Sensitive Sunglasses - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

SACRILEGE! Hitchhiker's Guide game's back ... and it TWEETS at you

We've all heard that things were better back in the day. But when it comes to computer games, El Reg has uncovered concrete evidence that the past was pretty rubbish. The Beeb has re-released an old text adventure based on Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the day it first hit the shops. What …
Jasper Hamill, 11 Mar 2014
Taking a turn on the Airmec sine wave signal generator

Neil Young touts MP3 player that's no Piece of Crap

Decades of performing may have left Neil Young somewhat shy of the hearing of a 20-year-old, but the poor quality of MP3 still irritates the crazy horse enough to try and do something about it. Meet PonoMusic, which Young hopes will “unleash” all the unheard detail that MP3 (or even, if you believe what's on the company's site, …

The land of Milk and Sammy: Free music app touted by Samsung

Seeking to capitalize on its dominance of the Android smartphone market, Samsung has launched a free online streaming music service in the US that's only available to owners of its Galaxy-branded mobes. Just why the service is called Milk Music is hard to fathom. But it's powered by Pandora competitor Slacker Radio, it has 13 …

eBay stockholders! There's MORE to COME, thunders Carl Icahn

Activist investor Carl Icahn is continuing his campaign to get eBay to spin off PayPal, writing yet another letter to shareholders that said he hadn't even begun to fight to get his way. "Stockholders, please stay tuned. There is more to come – much more," Icahn threatened in his latest open letter (emphasis his own). The …

No sex please, we're Twit-ish. Vine bans non-educational nudity

A six second sexual encounter is bound to disappoint and annoy. So it's little wonder that the teeny-weeny video service Vine has called an end to them. The Twitter-owned video service has decided to weed out filthy content that is "not a good fit for our community". This basically means any sort of nudity or sexual content …
Jasper Hamill, 7 Mar 2014

Sony US PlayStation supremo Jack Tretton ejects after 19 years

Sony Computer Entertainment of America (SCEA) is parting ways with its longtime chief executive Jack Tretton: he will step down from his post and leave the company at the end of the month. The company said Tretton has been with Sony since the launch of SCEA nearly two decades ago, and added that the departure was by "mutual …
Shaun Nichols, 7 Mar 2014

Getty offers 35 MILLION images for free – if you jump (em)bed with it

Photo giant Getty Images has announced it will allow 35 million of its images to be embedded on non-commercial sites such as blogs, message boards and social networks. It's via a new Embed tool, similar to Twitter or YouTube's iframe HTML, which allows the image to be pasted onto a web page, and allows Getty to track usage. …

Big Content wants Aussies blocked from Netflix

Australia's television rights-holders are increasingly agitating against locals accessing Netflix by presenting apparently-US IP addresses to the streaming service. In short order, Quickflix (which has been working for some time to sign up local ISPs to carry its content) and TV broadcasters have been taking their case to …
BBC Testcard

Psssst. Don't tell the Bride, but BBC Three is about to be jilted

BBC Three fans seeking their fix of that ugly phenomenon chillingly known as factual entertainment will soon only be able to watch programmes commissioned for that channel on the iPlayer, Auntie has said. The Corporation confirmed rumours on Wednesday that suggested that BBC Three would be axed from our telly screens. It's the …
Kelly Fiveash, 5 Mar 2014

Wikimedia wants forced disclosures of paid edits

The Wikimedia Foundation will attempt to alter its terms of service so that users who create articles or make edits as part of their jobs or a paid engagement must disclose their affiliation. Paid edits and articles are often considered to be astroturfing – the marketing technique of making something look like a grass roots …
Apple iPhone 4 (left) and Samsung Galaxy S 4G (right)

Oscars backer Samsung can't catch a break: Host Ellen snaps stars on iOS

High fives all round, no doubt, at Oscars sponsor Samsung after the awards-night host Ellen Degeneres repeatedly mentioned the chaebol on stage and used a Galaxy S5 during the show to tweet the world's most popular selfie. But The Reg wonders how the South Korean electronics giant reacted when it realized the comedian was …
Shaun Nichols, 4 Mar 2014
southampton water in Minecraft

It's a BLOCKBUSTER: Minecraft heads to the silver screen

The creators of smash gaming hit Minecraft have confirmed rumours that the blocktastic game will be turned into a film by Hollywood studio Warner Brothers. Warner Brothers have bought the rights to Minecraft and Roy Lee, director of the recent Lego Movie, is rumoured to be at the helm. The game has sold more than 35million …
Jasper Hamill, 28 Feb 2014
Candy Crush Saga

Candy Crush King stops trying to trademark CANDY in the US

Games developer King has abandoned its attempt to get the word CANDY trademarked in the US, to go with its matching European trademark. The company said that after being awarded the trademark for CANDY CRUSHER, it no longer felt the need to pursue a trademark on the word CANDY. “King has withdrawn its trademark application for …

Wanna change the world but need cash? Fret not: Billionaire Eric Schmidt has some spare change

Billionaire Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt is putting up one million dollars of his own money to fund technological innovation. Speaking on This Morning on CBS, Schmidt, said to be worth $8.3bn by Forbes, said he wants to "put my money where my mouth is". The cash will be awarded to individuals or groups that are using …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Feb 2014
Sina Weibo logo

Sina rumoured to be prepping Weibo for $500m US-based IPO

Chinese web giant Sina has picked two of the big banks to prep its Twitter-alike microblogging site Weibo for an IPO in the US. Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse have been taken on to help the site manage a debut onto the market in New York, sources told the Financial Times and Reuters. Weibo, which is hugely popular in China, is …
Assange

Ghostwriter: Assange™ is NARCISSISTIC and UNTRUTHFUL

The ghost writer hired to help Julian Assange with an autobiography deal that ultimately fell apart has described the WikiLeaker as "thin-skinned, conspiratorial, untruthful and narcissistic". Andrew O' Hagan, who started working with Assange while he was on bail over the allegations of sexual assault in Sweden three years ago, …
Netflix House of Cards remake

Amazon fuses LoveFilm, subs service, calls it Prime Instant Video

Amazon has decided to fold its Prime delivery service into its LoveFilm Instant video streaming library to make a single Prime Instant Video subscription for Brits. Subscribers paying £79 a year will now get free one-day delivery on participating items when shopping at the online bazaar and access to Kindle books from Prime, as …

TV scraper Aereo pulled off air in six US states after tellyco court injunction victory

TV retransmitter Aereo, which created its business hoping to weasel around a loophole in the law, has been banned in six US states after a judge granted a preliminary injunction that bans it from operating in them. Aereo provided each subscriber with access to a tiny antenna in the cloud, deploying thousands of these antennas to …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Feb 2014
Mobile phone stolen by pickpocket

Facebook pays $19bn for WhatsApp. Yep. $45 for YOUR phone book

+Analysis Putting a man on the Moon cost less than what Facebook paid for WhatsApp, a generic chat app. So why is Facebook paying $45 per user to gain functionality it already has? The silly numbers look even sillier when you consider Facebook's own Messenger only lags narrowly behind WhatsApp in terms of usage. Facebook Messenger …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Feb 2014

Boffins: You'll see, TWITTERNET! We'll get the TRUTH out of you...

While even emergency services have embraced Twitter as a way of conveying information to people quickly, the premature obituaries and malicious rumours seen on the social network every week show that you cannot trust what others tweet. That's why computer boffins from five European universities have started work on a lie …
Just Add Sugar

Big Beardie's watching: Gaze into the screen... it shall gaze also into you

Walk into a petrol station in the UK and you might see an Amscreen advertising things to you. But it's not only you who's doing the looking; it is looking at you too. It's nothing personal... The screen uses technology from Quividi to work out your age and gender. It looks at hair length, cheek structure, eye distance and dark …
Simon Rockman, 20 Feb 2014

Cisco's the new Tivo, pumps out 'DVR in the cloud' offering

Cisco wants to borg your TV: as part of a big cloud-for-service-providers announcement, it's kicked off a cloudy digital video recorder (DVR) offering under its Videoscape brand. Videoscape itself isn't new: it was kicked off in January 2011 as a TV-over-IP platform, and since then Cisco has been rolling various acquisitions …

Official: British music punter still loves plastic

The UK recorded music industry grew 1.9 per cent last year according to the BPI, despite falls in revenue from sales of CDs and music videos. Amazingly, CD revenue fell only 6.4 per cent in 2013 year on year - and still forms the backbone of the industry. A full £365.4m out of the total of £716.8m comes from CDs and videos. …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Feb 2014
Steve Jobs in a grade-school classroom

See me after class: Apple scores AAA rating from brand-botherer

Apple has been named the world's most valuable brand for the third time in a row, with No 2 Samsung narrowing the gap slightly but still trailing behind. According to Brand Finance's Global 500 list, Apple's brand value in 2014 is $104bn, up 20 per cent from $87bn in 2013. Samsung, meanwhile, was judged to be worth $79bn, up …
Jasper Hamill, 19 Feb 2014

Actor who played Rogue Two in Star Wars dies aged 67

Obit Christopher Malcolm, the actor who played Rebel space pilot Zev Senesca - callsign Rogue Two - in The Empire Strikes Back, and also portrayed Rocky Horror Show character Brad Majors and Saffy's gay dad in various episodes of Brit telly hit Absolutely Fabulous, has died aged 67. Rogue Two in the skies above Hoth. His daughter …
Lewis Page, 19 Feb 2014
BBC Testcard

BBC: Hey, Atos, old buddy. Here's a cheque for £285m, fill your boots

The BBC has tossed £285m of licence fee payers' cash at a beefy tech services deal with integrator Atos after the planned rollout of a brand new tower framework to house multiple suppliers hit the buffers. The existing Technology Framework Contract (TFC), also with Atos, is set to expire March next year. It covers telephony, …
Paul Kunert, 18 Feb 2014
The BBC's Computer Programme

Computer expert and broadcaster Ian McNaught-Davis dies at 84

Obit Ian McNaught-Davis, star of the BBC's The Computer Programme, has died at the age of 84. His funeral is being held in London this afternoon. MAC, as he was affectionately known to his friends, was an accomplished mountaineer, television broadcaster, mathematician and computer expert, who lit up the screens of tech enthusiasts …
Team Register, 18 Feb 2014
Motoroheadphones Motorizer

IPO? Don't know what you're talking about, says Spotify as it seeks IPO report guru

Spotify has advertised for a new "external reporting specialist", fueling rumors that the online music streaming biz is getting ready for a stock-market debut. In a job ad on its website, Spotify said it was looking for someone who could "prepare the company for international financial standards". The new recruit should act as …
Apple Store Scottsdale

Reports pump fuel into iCar gossip: Apple in 'talks' with Tesla

Apple and Tesla reportedly met to discuss a deal that could clear the way for a Cupertino-designed iCar. The San Francisco Chronicle suggested that Apple and Tesla met last year to discuss a possible link-up. Citing an unnamed source, it claimed Apple's merger and acquisitions chief, Adrian Perica, met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk …
Jasper Hamill, 17 Feb 2014

Facebook KICKS OUT ad stalkers for BREACHING data rules

Facebook has divorced itself from two analytics firms who didn't stick to the free content ad network's policies on data retention. AdExchanger reported that HasOffers and Kontagent have effectively been blacklisted from Facebook's mobile version, after violating their contracts. The stalker outfits had been caught sitting on …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Feb 2014
Her – OS One finds out about Theodore

The perfect fantasy flick for the online Valentine you've never met: Her

Film review Spike Jonze’s movie Her invites us to suspend our disbelief as we acquaint ourselves with the life of Theodore Twombly and the relationship he forms with his computer's operating system. Her – Theodore finds out about OS One Theodore finds out about OS One... During an ordinary day in this near future story, Theodore, played …
Bob Dormon, 13 Feb 2014
Doctor Who and Sarah

SCRAP the TELLY TAX? Ancient BBC Time Lords mull Beeb's future

It was as good as anything on the telly. Four past BBC chiefs were giving MPs their opinions at Westminster. The Commons media select committee is running an enquiry into the future of the BBC, looking at how it should be governed, and as technology and habits change, whether should there even be a per-household fee levied on …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Feb 2014

Object to #YearOfCode? You're a misogynist and a snob, says the BBC

+Comment Critics of the Government's "Year of Code" scheme are misogynists or snobs, according to the BBC's tech correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones. Rory's frustration is that while billions of pounds are splurged on IT, children are passively taught PowerPoint procedures. That's the limit of the state's ambitions for children. This a …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Feb 2014

Bad luck, n00bs: Mozilla to splurge ADS inside empty Firefox tiles

The Mozilla Corporation has announced that it will soon offer the chance to run advertising in its browser. Ads will appear in what the foundation is calling “Directory Tiles” that appear when users summon a new Tab into existence. Explained as something “designed to improve the first-time-with-Firefox experience”, nine …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Feb 2014
Genie

Incantations used to summon Magic Quadrants revealed

Analyst firm Gartner has lifted its skirts and explained a little more about how it compiles its controversial Magic Quadrants. The explanation comes in the form of a post offering advice to those about to bid for a spot on the infrastructure-as-a-service and hosting quadrant. Here's how the research process unfolds: You get …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Feb 2014
Handshake

With $100m+ buyout deal, Klout is suddenly popular again

Klout, the startup that claims to be able to measure users' influence on social media sites, has just gained a whole lot more influence of its own – at least $100m worth. Re/Code reports that Klout has been acquired by "social customer experience" company Lithium Technologies in a cash-and-stock deal valued "in the low nine …
Neil McAllister, 11 Feb 2014