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Judge Dredd

DRM is NOT THE LAW, I AM THE LAW, says JUDGE DREDD

Rebellion, the games developer that owns 2000AD - British comics' finest product – has banished digital rights management (DRM) from Mega-City One. The company's announced that once punters purchase tales of Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog or Rogue Trooper online, they'll be able to access DRM-free downloadables of their purchases. …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Apr 2015
Google UK office logos

>Ring, ring< Hey Wall St. Yeah, it's Google. Yeah, bad news again, fellas

Google missed analysts' earnings estimates for the sixth quarter in a row on Thursday, despite the fact that its actual performance for the three months ending on March 31 was more than respectable. As usual, one has to wonder whether Wall Street isn't being just a bit over-optimistic about the online ad-slinger's prospects. …
Neil McAllister, 23 Apr 2015

Comcast 'flees $45bn monster-merger with Time Warner Cable'

Comcast is walking away from its proposed $45bn merger with Time Warner Cable (TWC), insiders claim. Comcast will announce as early as Friday its intent to scrap its plans for the mega-acquisition, according to well-placed sources speaking to Bloomberg. Comcast did not take up The Register's offer to deny the claims. The …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Apr 2015
Photo by Mike Mozart

Comcast accused of torpedoing Hulu sale to rivals with weapon of mass transactions

Comcast allegedly talked its fellow Hulu investors out of selling the TV streaming upstart to DirecTV or AT&T by insisting it could steer the web biz to financial triumph. That's a serious accusation because Comcast had agreed with the FCC and US Department of Justice to keep its hands off the management of Hulu. In the end, …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Apr 2015

Facebook fiddles with News Feed algo. Brace yourself for CONTENTGEDDON

Facebook has modified its News Feed algorithm and warned Facebook Page owners that "post reach and referral traffic" could plummet following the overhaul. The free content ad network said it planned to apply three changes to the News Feed function. One of those tweaks will apparently make friends' posts more prominent than …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Apr 2015

Cheer up songwriters, there's shedloads of money rolling in

The UK's performing sights society PRS for Music recorded a slim profit of £1.4m last year on turnover of £73.9m. The society collects and distributes royalties for songwriters and music publishers from radio, physical venues and plays on the internet, as well as the “mechanical” – a small proportion from the sale of a sound …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Apr 2015
Cow skull

TV networks peck at sun-bleached skeleton of Aereo, come away with $950,000

The skeletal remains of ill-fated TV streaming startup Aereo will pay out $950,000 in a copyright infringement settlement, putting to rest a lawsuit filed by US broadcasters that has already sent it into bankruptcy. For a couple of years, Aereo operated an online video service that captured live television broadcasts, recorded …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Apr 2015
Pulling the plug

Google pulls plug on YouTube for older iPads, iPhones, smart TVs

Some aging smart TVs, Blu-Ray players, iPhones and iPads are headed for early dotage, thanks to a decision by Google to shut down the older version of its YouTube API. According to a revised product support page, the YouTube apps built into certain devices manufactured in 2012 or earlier will soon stop functioning, beginning …
Neil McAllister, 21 Apr 2015

The content business wants Netflix out of Australia

Debate about copyright and virtual private networks (VPNs) has reached such a pitch in Australia that at least one voice wants a policy that, taken literally, would have the effect of closing down Netflix in this country. I don't mean “stopping Australians from accessing Netflix US via VPNs”, I mean “bye-bye Netflix, go home to …
pipes

Web advertising giant (Google) to spew ads over web – using HTTPS

Google has vowed to serve ads over HTTPS from its massive advertising network. The move will make it easier for website owners to go fully SSL-protected, serving their webpages and ads over HTTPS rather than just the pages over HTTPS and mixing in ads over HTTP, which is insecure. It also means each ad and its link can't be …
Darren Pauli, 20 Apr 2015
Angry-looking cat. Pic by  Guyon Morée from Beverwijk, Netherlands. licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

BuzzFeed: We don't pull 'articles' due to advertiser pressure VERY OFTEN

Devilish mediabomination site BuzzFeed has confessed that it removed "content"* because it drew complaints from the site's advertising partners. "Editor-in-chief" Ben Smith sent the results of an internal review to staff last Saturday which revealed three instances on his watch in which content had been removed after it had …
Team Register, 20 Apr 2015
"Armageddon" image courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures/Touchstone Pictures

UH OH, it's MOBILEGEDDON! Your site may lose, well, PENNIES

Comment Google has adjusted its algorithms so websites it deems to be "mobile-friendly" will – from today, Tuesday – rank higher on the advertising colossus' search listings, if they are searched for from a mobile device. Inevitably, the move has triggered gripes to the effect that businesses – in particular small online players – will …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Apr 2015

Who runs this world? Sony Pictures CEO jokes about getting UK culture minister fired

Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton mulled pulling strings to get UK culture minister Ed Vaizey fired to replace him with the grandson of former prime minister Harold MacMillan. Vaizey, a democratically elected Tory moderniser, oversaw "digital industries" for Britain's Coalition government – from broadband to copyright …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Apr 2015
Michael Bromwich

Ebook price-fix saga: Official Apple peeler says probe is fruitless

A US court-appointed watchdog tasked with ensuring Apple sticks to its e-book price-fixing settlement promises says the iThing giant is not playing ball. In a report [PDF] submitted to the New York Southern District Court, external compliance monitor Michael Bromwich claims Apple has not cooperated with his efforts to examine …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Apr 2015

Mega fatcat Kim Dotcom in deportation drama over SPEEDING ticket

Mega.co.nz kingpin Kim Dotcom may soon be booted out of New Zealand – because of a speeding ticket. The resilient and colorful entrepreneur is living on the Pacific island having gained residency rights in 2010. But he is also wanted by the US authorities for running the Megaupload file-sharing website, a service Dotcom …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Apr 2015
Broken CD

Give Jay-Z's Tidal tune stream thing a chance, says indie label boss

Interview Jay-Z’s much-mocked Tidal deserves a chance, says veteran British indie boss Martin Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt says the music industry should worry more about free and freemium services and offerings than piracy, and reminded us that digital sales are highly profitable – if you can make one. Goldschmidt started indie label Cooking …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Apr 2015
Bullshit graffiti on side of van in San Francisco

Google drives a tenth of news traffic? That's bull-doodie, to use the technical term

Comment Google has been forced to retract a claim that it only delivers 10 per cent of traffic to news sites after one of those cited – The Guardian – said the figure was "nonsense." The 10 per cent figure was supposed to act as a counter-argument to the European Commission's decision to formally accuse Google of illegally abusing its …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Apr 2015
WikiLeaks Sony document release logo

WikiLeaks reveals searchable trove of Sony Pictures documents

Wikileaks has decided Sony Pictures is worthy of its attention by releasing 30,000 documents it says were lifted from the company's servers during the infamous 2014 attack. Wikileaks' justification for publishing the new trove is that Sony “is a member of the [Motion Picture Association of America] MPAA and a strong lobbyist on …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Apr 2015

Yahoo! chief! Marissa! Mayer! stings! Bing! in! ad! bling! fling! win!

Yahoo! is rubbing its hands at the thought of juicing more ad revenue from people using its Bing-powered search engine – after tweaking its 10-year deal with Microsoft. Back in 2009, Yahoo! agreed to use Microsoft's Bing for its web search, allowing the Redmond giant to place ads on results pages. Under the terms of the a …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Apr 2015
Meme of a dog "typing" at a computer, with the large font phrase "I have no idea what I'm doing' above him.

Labour policy review tells EU where to stuff its geo-blocking ban

If Europe’s new Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker thought he’d notch up an easy populist win last summer when he targeted copyright reform, he’s had a rude awakening. Instead, he’s walked into a firestorm. Critics argued that sidekick Commission VP Andrus Ansip’s favourite proposals on territoriality would “Americanise” …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Apr 2015
Fixed toy octopus

Googley TENTACLES reach towards YOUR email

Google is in talks to allow advertisers to target ads in search results using existing customers' email addresses, according to reports. The ad flinger has suggested that advertisers hand over customer information such as email addresses as part of moves to track users’ online and offline activities for marketing purposes, …
Kat Hall, 15 Apr 2015

Adobe, Level 3 drive a stake through heart of vid-stream creature before it attacks again

The US Patent and Trademark Office has torn up parts of a video-streaming technology patent used against Adobe and Level 3 Communications in a patent-infringement legal scrap. The office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board has invalidated chunks of patent 5,995,091, which describes a "system and method for streaming multimedia data …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Apr 2015

Four boggling websites we found hidden in the BitTorrent network using the Maelstrom browser

Pics BitTorrent has released its Maelstrom combo-browser to all as a beta release. Maelstrom merges the open-source Chromium web browser with a BitTorrent client, so you can fetch and render regular webpages on the internet, and download movies Game of Thrones music Linux ISOs stuff from the BitTorrent file-sharing network, all from …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Apr 2015
A dragon in Game of Thrones

Woeful groans over Game of Thrones' spill on piracy sites

The first four episodes of the latest series of Game of Thrones has been leaked online – with fans reportedly downloading 550,000 illegal copies of the saucy, bloody fantasy drama in just 12 hours. Season 5 of GoT is set to air in the US tonight on HBO, while Blighty fans won't be able to view it over on Sky Atlantic until …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Apr 2015
troll

Tech troll's podcasting patent blown out of the water by EFF torpedo

US patent judges have invalidated chunks of a podcasting patent used by troll non-practicing entity Personal Audio LLC to extract money from top podcasters and broadcasters. Personal Audio doesn't produce podcasting software or hardware; its sole purpose is to sue people who allegedly infringe the patents it holds in the …
Iain Thomson, 11 Apr 2015

Facebook does fling COOKIES around, but privacy is assured

Facebook has responded to Belgian researchers' claims that the company violates European data law in an exhaustingly pedantic press release. Last week, a team of Belgian researchers reported that the social network giant had been illegally tracking the web browsing habits of every visitor, even if they aren't account holders, or …
Grand Theft Auto Lindsay Lohan lookalike

Daniel Radcliffe to feature in GTA biopic flick. Well, it's work at least

Former Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe is reported to be in line to play the co-founder of Rockstar Games, publisher of the violence-fest Grand Theft Auto game series. According to Hollywood Reporter Radcliffe is in negotiations with BBC Films to star in the true-life account of Sam Houser, and his fight with a Miami lawyer …
Kat Hall, 10 Apr 2015
BrickArms' Toy taliban figure

ISIS: You bomb us, we’ll interrupt your TV transmissions

TV5Monde was prevented from broadcasting last night, and claims to still be working on a return to its regular programming schedule, after "hackers" interrupted its transmissions for a couple of hours. The signal jammers claimed affiliation with ISIS and took to the French broadcaster's social media accounts to spam the world …
Close-up of a YouTube logo as viewed on a computer screen in close up...

Google: Give us cash or we'll poke YouTube ads into your eyeballs

Google is planning to launch a subscription service for YouTube, offering viewers the opportunity to avoid advertisements for a monthly fee. In an email sent to vid makers YouTube Partners by the YouTube team the Chocolate Factory's video service is set to roll out a subscription service which will offer "fans an ads-free …
Burning copyright symbol. Photo by: Martin Fisch http://www.flickr.com/photos/marfis75/ on flickr"

Dallas Buyers Club doubles down on Oz Torrenters

The law firm that secured an Australian Federal Court decision against iiNet and other ISPs says it's widening its field of fire to target a further 23,000 individuals. Marque Lawyers' boss Michael Bradley has told The West Australian that Australian internet service provider (ISP) iiNet was targeted by way of a test case. With …
The Netflix smartwatch: fun in the urinal, or wherever you want a house of cards

Screw YOU, Apple – Netflix teases world+dog with its own 'coming soon' SMARTWATCH

Video Netflix says it has a smartwatch “coming soon.” Kind of. The streaming vid titan today released the video below to illustrate its concept for a smartwatch. Spoiler alert: the company may not be entirely serious, as the video features a wrist-mounted smartphone with what looks to be about a five-inch screen. The “watch” is used …
Children cocaine advert

You. FTC. Get over here. Google is INVADING our children's MINDS – anti-ad campaigners

Think-of-the-children types are urging US watchdog the FTC to investigate Google's YouTube Kids app – claiming it insidiously influences the minds of precious little snowflakes with advertising. "YouTube Kids is the most hyper-commercialized media environment for children I have ever seen," commented Dale Kunkel, a professor of …
Iain Thomson, 7 Apr 2015

Dailymotion staying VousTube thanks to Vivendi offer

Dailymotion, France's YouTube-botherer-in-chief, looks set to be bought by Vivendi after a Gallic government intervention. On Tuesday morning French media borg Vivendi confirmed it has made an offer for one of the world's biggest video-hosting websites, after news that Hong Kong-based telecoms company PCCW had pulled out of …

Turkey PM bans Twitter, YouTube as 'tools of terrorist propaganda'

Twitter and Google's YouTube faced another showdown with the Turkish government on Monday after court officials in the country temporarily blocked access to the micro-blabbing and video-sharing sites. The latest ban was imposed on the US companies following the death of prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz, who was taken hostage and …
Kelly Fiveash, 7 Apr 2015
See No Evil Hear No Evil movie still

Wanna quote tweets without manual faff? HAVE AT IT, sez Twitter

Twitter has begun rolling out a new function on the micro-blabbing site which lets users add comments to retweeted messages without hitting the 140-character limit. Previously, inserting one's own remarks into a tweet meant having to copy and paste it into a new tweet and then add "RT" (retweet) or "MT" (modified tweet) to the …
Kelly Fiveash, 7 Apr 2015
Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning sets up low-tech Twitter account from prison

After being held virtually incommunicado for more than three years, Chelsea Manning, WikiLeaks' first US military mole, has set up a Twitter account and relayed her first messages from inside Fort Leavenworth military prison. This is my new twitter account =P — Chelsea Manning (@xychelsea) April 3, 2015 I’m hoping to stay …
Iain Thomson, 3 Apr 2015
Dianne Feinstein

Light the torches! NSA's BFF Senator Feinstein calls for e-book burning

Senator Dianne Feinstein is calling for a pair of controversial instructionals to be banned from the internet. Feinstein (D-CA) did not say exactly how she plans to scrub The Anarchist Cookbook and Inspire magazine from every server, desktop and notebook on the planet, but none the less she wants both titles pulled from …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Apr 2015
Beats Music The Sentence

Take a deep breath, Apple: Europe snaps on gloves for vigorous iTunes stream pat-down

Apple is once again in the headlights of oncoming government regulators, this time over its forthcoming iTunes music-streaming service. Reports from The New York Times and Wall Street Journal cite well-placed sources claiming the Cupertino idiot-tax operation is being scrutinized by the European Commission over its dealings with …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Apr 2015
JVC HM-DH40000U D-VHS recorder

Netflix teams with AWS to launch VHS-as-a-service

Streaming video titan Netflix will shortly launch a variant of its service in which classic 1980s programs, and modern content, are streamed in a form that approximates the unbelievably bad video quality of the VHS video cassette. The Reg understands Netflix has worked with Amazon Web Services to tweak the cloud giant's Elastic …
Rihanna in Battleship

Tidal music launch: Pop plutocrats pour FLAC on rival Spotify

Pop mega-stars including potty-mouthed rapper Jay-Z, professional non-smiler Kanye West and someone called Madonna have “launched” a music-streaming service owned by the artists. It includes a “lossless” FLAC audio quality $19.99-per-month tier, and there’s no ad-supported version. Jay-Z spent $56m this year on Aspiro, which …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Mar 2015

EU digi-chief clashes with robo-veep over geo-blocking

Gaffe-prone Commissioner Günther H-dot Oettinger is at it again. In statements to the German press (he rarely talks to anyone else), Oetti directly mocked his boss Andrus Ansip’s desire to end geo-blocking. Former Estonian prime minister Ansip – known as The Robot back home – has made eradication of geo-blocking his prime goal. …
Jennifer Baker, 31 Mar 2015

Blockhead fugitive Snapchats himself into police custody

The Somerset County Sheriff's Office in Maine cuffed burglary suspect Christopher Wallace this Sunday, following an extraordinary burst of Snapchat buffoonery from the 24-year-old. Several weeks ago the police department made it known that they were seeking Wallace in connection with a burglary. They had been unable to locate …