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FCC bigwig grills Netflix: If internet fast lanes are so bad, why did YOU build them?

An FCC commissioner has asked Netflix to explain an apparent contradiction in its demand for net neutrality: on the one hand, Netflix wants an open and neutral internet for all – and on the other hand, it's making deals with ISPs to speed up its video streams. Netflix pays Comcast and Verizon to install servers within their …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Dec 2014

Wikipedia won't stop BEGGING for cash - despite sitting on $60m

+Comment The latest accounts for the charity behind Wikipedia show it has assets of $60m, including $27m in ready cash: up more than $12m from 2013. That's far more than the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) needs to run a website. And the timing is embarrassing: Wikipedia is currently begging for more cash to (in its own words) "keep Wikipedia …

Sony Pictures hires Mandiant, asks FBI for help after MASSIVE cyber attack

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has hired FireEye’s Mandiant forensics unit to help it clean up the huge cyber attack that knocked out its network and forced its employees to put pen to paper over the last few weeks. The company has also asked the FBI to investigate the incident and look into the leak of four of its upcoming …
Photo of Kim Jong-un using an archaic computer

Brits to teach Norks hacks about 'multimedia websites'. 5% of DPRK is in for a TREAT

A group of North Korean journalists will visit the UK next year to "observe how multimedia websites work at British media companies". The Foreign and Commonwealth Office-funded project Inside Out: Working in North Korea to connect its journalists to the internet world aims to give North Korean journalists a greater understanding …
Kat Hall, 1 Dec 2014
netflix

Netflix: Sacre vache! French resistance from the vestibuleurs de consommation

Analysis Netflix has so far skipped neatly over all the French hurdles that have tripped up many lesser foreign invaders in what has become a minefield of bureaucracy and xenophobia, especially for US multinationals. To some extent, Netflix has turned its French resistance to its advantage, gaining valuable publicity on the back of it …
Faultline, 1 Dec 2014

Star Wars: Episode VII trailer lands. You call that a lightsaber? THIS is a lightsaber

Vid Star Wars' fans have been treated to their first glimpse of episode seven of the movie franchise, after a trailer for The Force Awakens, directed by J.J. Abrams, was released on Friday. Youtube Video Opinions about the film's teaser have been mixed, with the latest lightsaber design being poorly received by some netizens. …
Team Register, 30 Nov 2014

Did North Korean hackers nobble Sony Pictures?

Sony Pictures has reportedly begun investigating possible hacking links to North Korea, following a savage attack on its network earlier this week. According to Re/code, which cited insiders, the company was yet to determine whether Nork hackers, possibly operating from within China, were behind the attack. As The Register …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Nov 2014

Men, Women and Children: Shows how crap the internet is via the medium of crap film

Film Review The internet has fundamentally changed the way we interact with one another - but at the same time it, like, hasn't. That seems to be the message behind the cringey and contrived Men, Women and Children. Starring Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, Dean Norris, Judy Greer and Rosemarie DeWitt among others, this film is the latest " …
Kat Hall, 30 Nov 2014

Nordic Samuel Beckett meets Kafka meets Gervais: Modern office parable The Room

Page File Anyone who’s ever toiled under the glaring fluorescence of the dreary modern office will enjoy the slow descent of Björn from meticulous “man of the future” to nutty “monster”, courtesy of an unassuming ergonomically designed private office in his building. Told entirely from Björn’s point of view, Jonas Karlsson’s The Room has …

Randall Munroe: The root nerd talks to The Register

Interview There are a million easy ways to get famous on the internet - or perhaps they're all one way but it's been done a million times. Randall Munroe If you're a budding celeb in search of glory, all you need to do is shoot a sex tape, like Paris Hilton - or maybe do a Miley Cyrus and unleash a vast torrent of semi-clad selfies. …
Jasper Hamill, 29 Nov 2014

Lord Lucan, Murakami's Strange Library ... and a hitchhiker's guide to the Computing Universe

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston trawls through the freshest releases in publishing. This week we have a trippy new Murakami about a murderous librarian, a murder mystery to suit Downton Abbey fans and lastly, a pop-sci romp through computing history that soon takes a turn for the sci-fi... The Strange Library Haruki Murakami has …
Mark Diston, 29 Nov 2014

Einstürzende Neubauten's haunting World War I tribute

Music Review “We must have the only recording studio with a compressed air supply,” says Blixa Bargeld as he tunes up his band, Einstürzende Neubauten. Three compressed air hoses hiss into life. String quartet and chains Here in Utrecht the middle-aged band, plus accompanying string quartet, are performing their World War One concert …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Nov 2014

Britain's MPs ask Twitter, Facebook to keep Ts&Cs simple

UK politicos have called upon social media firms to simplify their privacy policies and come clean about how they use customers' personal data. The Science and Technology Committee has concluded an inquiry into the terms and conditions users agree to when they sign up for accounts with sites like Twitter or Facebook. It has …
Jasper Hamill, 28 Nov 2014
Pirate Flag

High Court: You've made our SH*T list – corked pirate torrent sites double in a day

The number of blacklisted torrent sites has doubled in Blighty after the High Court blocked a record number of piratical webpages. Blighty's top six ISPs have been ordered to prevent access to 53 torrent services, bringing the total number of banned pages up to 93. New sites on the list include BitSoup, IP Torrents, Isohunt, …
Jasper Hamill, 28 Nov 2014

NetMundial 'rule-the-internet' ISC project gets grudging support of civil society

Civil society groups have decided they will not boycott the proposed new internet governance program, the NetMundial Initiative. In a letter sent earlier this week, representatives from the Internet Governance Civil Society Coordination Group (CSCG) noted that there were "very significant misgivings across a broad segment of …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Nov 2014
Blade Runner screenshot

Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it

Harrison Ford will star in the much-anticipated sequel to Blade Runner, director Ridley Scott has confirmed. However, Scott will not direct the follow-up to this iconic film, even though he worked with the original movie's screenwriter, Hampton Fancher, to develop its script. Ford has become something of a cinematic Lazarus …
Jasper Hamill, 27 Nov 2014
Suitcase bulging with cash

Yahoo! CIO sued for alleged kickback scam during his stint as Netflix veep

Yahoo! and its CIO Mike Kail may have a problem on their hands, after his former employer Netflix launched a civil suit against him for allegedly accepting kickbacks when he was working as their veep of IT operations. Netflix filed the suit in California this week, accusing Kail of taking “commissions” on products and services …

Chromecast video on UK, Euro TVs hertz so badly it makes us judder – but Google 'won't fix'

Google disappointed fans of its priced-like-a-pizza Chromecast TV dongle this week, when it said it won't be fixing an annoying video quirk that has some European customers' eyes twitching. The Chromecast, which lets users stream online content to their TVs while using their PCs and mobile devices as controllers, first went on …
Neil McAllister, 27 Nov 2014
Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddiedangerous/ licensed under creative commons http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ please attribute

Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix

Musicians and composers have launched a High Court legal challenge to a change the government has made to UK copyright law. British bureaucrats insisted on introducing a long-overdue private copying exception without compensation - the only European state to do so. The exception "legalises" the making of a copy of legitimately …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Nov 2014
Tongue

ASA raps 'F*CK YOU GOOGLE' vlogger + chums over VIDEO LICKFEST

The Advertising Standards Authority has rapped the knuckles of video bloggers for making it unclear when they’re actually recommending something and when they’ve been paid to hawk it to unsuspecting YouTubers. Vloggers, as we’re apparently meant to call them now, are big business these days with stars like Blighty’s Zoella …

I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations

Most films take a sombre view of time travel. Beings from the future will look back on our concepts of time travel seen in films as different as the Time Bandits and the Edge of Tomorrow and wonder what the hell we were thinking. The Terminator franchise has pushed timelines further out, postponing Judgement Day until 21 April …
Lucy Orr, 26 Nov 2014

Mysterious BEAM outside London Googleplex ZAPPED

Vid Workmen are digging up the spot outside Google's London headquarters where a mysterious "beam" once made pedestrians' hair stand on end. Dotted around two freshly dug holes were small signs which said "beware: fibre optic cables" and the remnants of a police cordon. The holes were on the same spot where the odd force was …
Jasper Hamill, 25 Nov 2014
netflix

Sacre vache! Netflix ne parle pas le Frenchy ... zat is against ze LAW

Netflix's seeming inability to parle Francais has landed the US video giant in trouble. The French national consumer protection association, CLCV, is suing the online goggle-box for breaking French consumer law. According to CLCV, Netflix imposes “malicious and illegal clauses” in its contracts with customers. Apparently …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Nov 2014

NEWSFLASH: You may ALREADY have seen Steve Jobs' willy

He's an actor with one of the most famous penises in Hollywood. Now the notoriously well-endowed superstar Michael Fassbender is set to play the tech world's "biggest dick": Steve Jobs. Fassbender is the latest high profile actor to be named as the star of an upcoming biopic about the Apple godhead. He will don the black …
Jasper Hamill, 25 Nov 2014

Whistling Google: PLEASE! Brussels can only hurt Europe, not us

+Analysis A few days ago President Obama wrote a cheque he knew he couldn’t cash - and this week the European Parliament will write another. Reports suggest that the Parliament is drafting a motion calling for the break-up of Google and its ilk. Much like Obama’s net neutrality pledge, it’s meaningless, but even so, it’s still hugely …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Nov 2014

Woman who stung Tinder with sex-pest sueball stings again – with rival Bumble app

A Tinder cofounder who sued the upstart for sexual harassment will launch a competing dating app called Bumble next month. And, having settled the legal bother for an undisclosed sum, Whitney Wolfe is giving the online hookup scene both barrels. "Other apps are full of creepy guys and cheesy pickup lines," the Bumble app's …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Nov 2014
Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) in The Fifth Element

The Genome: Loose morals ... and even looser plotlines

Page File The Genome is the latest novel from Sergei Lukyanenko, the sci-fi and fantasy author, and now modern Russian figurehead for the genre since his Night Watch novel was made into one of the few Russian movies to cross over to Western blockbuster status. Anton (Konstantin Khabenskiy) in Night Watch Anton (Konstantin Khabenskiy) in …
Vladislav (Jemaine Clement) in What We Do In The Shadows

What We Do In The Shadows? Laugh ourselves silly, mostly

Film Review It’s hard to believe that What We Do In The Shadows has been eight years in the making, given its spot-on, bang-up-to-date parody of both the vampire obsession and found footage/fake documentary style movies. The gang in What We Do In The Shadows (L-R)Vladislav, Viago, Petyr, Nick and Stu with Deacon above. Credit: What We Do …
Trouble in Paradise

Pervert's Guide man's new book, an urban myths tome and Youth, an underrated gem

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston trawls through at publishing's top notch texts. Bad boy philosopher Slavoj Žižek puts Russell Brand in the shade with his latest cultural critique, while urban mythmeister Jan Harold Brunvand has revised his entertaining and enduring tome that's a goldmine for comedians and sketch writers alike. And …
Mark Diston, 22 Nov 2014
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos

Judge OKs $450m deal to end ebook price-hike row. But Apple just won't let it die

A Manhattan judge has finally approved Apple's settlement in its long-running ebook price-fixing lawsuit: $400m will go to readers who paid over the odds, and $50m will go to the lawyers suing the iTunes Giant. The out-of-court deal was drawn up in June and was granted preliminary approval by District Court Judge Denise Cote in …
Iain Thomson, 22 Nov 2014
Max Headroom

Amazon warming up 'cheapo web video' cannon to SINK Netflix

Amazon is preparing an online video-streaming service that will be stuffed with ads – and undercut rivals Netflix and Hulu Plus, it has been reported. The New York Post cited unnamed sources in reporting that Jeff Bezos' behemoth is readying a cheap version of the web telly service you get with a $99-a-year Amazon Prime account …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Nov 2014
Pigeon crapping on statue

That's all folks! US TV streaming upstart Aereo files for bankrupcy

It's the end of the line for the TV streaming biz Aereo: it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and appointed a chief restructuring officer to extract some remaining value from its assets. "Our engineering team created the first cloud-based, individual antenna and DVR that enabled you to record and watch live …
Iain Thomson, 21 Nov 2014
Money image

Google Contributor: Ad-block killer – or proof NO ONE will pay for news?

Google has offered to charge people a monthly subscription fee to read articles and gawp at photos online. Paying for published news and features has never been attempted before, which makes Google's Contributor system a milestone for civilization. People who subscribe to websites using Contributor will see "thank you" messages …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Nov 2014
Uber - living the dream

'How a censorious and moralistic blogger ruined my evening'

So you’re at an Uber-hosted dinner for New York media high-rollers, and the Uber exec - Emil Michael, senior VP for business - you’re talking to goes off on one, suggesting he could hire a million dollar team to dig up dirt on hostile journalists and their families. What do you do? This - apparently - depends on who you are. It …
John Lettice, 21 Nov 2014
Beats Music The Sentence

Apple Fanboi? Stand by to get Beats Music LIKE IT OR NOT

Apple will attempt to install a Beats Music app in all recent iThings in early 2015, it's claimed. The music streaming service will be added via an over-the-air iOS update in early 2015, the Financial Times reports. With the software installed, fanbois can stream music over the internet on a monthly basis without having to grab …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Nov 2014
Maurice Moss, IT Crowd

Countdown contestant pays homage to IT Crowd's Moss

In one of the world’s greatest self-referential in-jokes, Countdown contestant Danny Davies has worn a T-shirt commemorating the appearance of Maurice Moss on Countdown in an episode of The IT Crowd. Youtube Video Davies appeared on the show wearing a T-shirt that said “Good morning, that’s a nice TNETENNBA” in homage to Moss, …

Bang! You're dead. Who gets your email, iTunes and Facebook?

Two things in life are certain: death and taxes. Amazon and other international corporations have found ways* around the latter, but no one can avoid the former. In the age of Facebook and Google accounts, and with the existence of services such as iTunes where people invest considerable sums in entirely virtual goods, the …
Stuart Burns, 19 Nov 2014
World's largest billboard on New York's Times Square

Google bags OBSCENELY LARGE Times Square ad space for New Year's

Google is the first customer to book advertising space on a gigantic new billboard on Times Square, which has a going rate of more than $2.5m for four weeks. World's largest billboard on New York's Times Square The newly unveiled megascreen is currently showing a digital art exhibition until 24 November, after which the …
Zuckerberg topless

GROUP HUG, shouts Facebook. C'mere and let us squeeze you more

Facebook's strategy of breaking out its features into separate apps continued on Tuesday – with the launch of a Groups application for iOS and Android. While more than half a billion Facebookers shunned the Messenger chat app that was spun out from the main FB app, the Mark Zuckerberg-run biz has soldiered on and built a new …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Nov 2014
Cat yawning

Netflix tags March 2015 for ANZ launch

Netflix has finally unbagged the cat, giving a date for its long-mooted, sometimes-denied Australia and New Zealand launch: March 2015. Apart from the usual shopping-list of titles, the Internet-streaming net-neutrality-warrior says it'll be including 4K content in its service, which will cause a wry and bitter laugh among …
FAIL

Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights

UK communications watchdog Ofcom has opened an investigation into Premier League football TV rights, following a complaint from Virgin Media. The telco's chief Tom Mockridge said his company welcomed the probe. "Fans in the UK pay the highest prices in Europe to watch the least amount of football on TV," he griped. "Now is the …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Nov 2014
PlayStation Vita

Sony SPILLS GUTS on OTT service, so far for PlayStations only

Analysis Sony has unveiled its widely expected PlayStation Vue OTT TV service, telling us everything we need to know except the most important part: the price. At present it is just a US phenomenon, which makes sense – if it can make it there it can make it anywhere. It is referred to as a cloud-based TV service and claims to reinvent …
Faultline, 17 Nov 2014