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Seven months of Basil Brush on YouTube: Er, boom boom?

Legendary stuffed TY character Basil Brush will now be available on YouTube, after TV bosses reportedly refused to give him fresh airtime. According to the Daily Mirror, Brush will be releasing a new sketch every Monday for the next 32 weeks. Brush, who, we are told, is currently on a nationwide tour, said: “I was on the Beeb …
Gareth Corfield, 21 Feb 2015
Stella Artois: Queens Tennis Championship. Artwork by stevecaplin.com for The Guardian

(Re)touching on a quarter-century of Adobe Photoshop

Feature Nothing proves the popularity of a star product more than its name being used as a verb. Rival companies hate it, but carpets get Hoovered, wrapping paper gets Sellotaped. And what do you do to a photo? A poorly Photoshopped picture can arouse horror or derision, while a half-decent one can become an internet phenomenon. Think …
Alistair Dabbs, 19 Feb 2015
Kim Dotcom

Former Mrs Dotcom hooks up with Xbox 'toyboy'

Here's one to file under #couldnthappentoanicerbloke: Kim Dotcom's former bride appears to have taken up with a younger, slimmer man. News that Dotcom now has relationship troubles to place alongside his legal, financial and political travails comes to us from New Zealand's Woman's Day, which this week brings us the news that " …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Feb 2015

Apple LIGHTSABERS to feature in The Force Awakens

Apple design supremo Jony Ive met Star Wars: The Force Awakens director at a dinner party and offered him some thoughts on lightsaber design that made it into the forthcoming flick. So says The New Yorker in a profile of Ive. The story says “Ive once sat next to J. J. Abrams at a boozy dinner party in New York, and made what …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Feb 2015
Dog's backside and tail

Help! DYING Google Helpouts YELPS out the door

Google has killed its Helpouts service less than two years since it first launched, because the ad giant failed to generate big bucks from a community of tipsters seeking to make small change from the venture. As we noted at the time, Google was attempting to move in on the bottom-feeding "how to" publishing market and hoover up …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Feb 2015

So who just bought the rights to .blog for $20m? A chap living in Panama

Exclusive The rights to sell .blog domains – one of the most sought after new dot-word gTLDs – have been won at auction by an unknown Colombian working out of Panama. Gerardo Aristizabal and his company Primer Nivel paid an estimated $20m for the premium piece of internet real-estate, beating out industry giants Google, Afilias, Donuts as …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Feb 2015

FACEBOOK even from BEYOND the GRAVE: CHOOSE your Legacy

A new feature from the brobdingnagian jabbercontent ad platform Facebook allows its users to bequeath control of their accounts to loved ones or other selectees when they die. It tries to tread the line between handing over full control and helping those who have lost someone use their memories and contacts to grieve. For some …
Simon Rockman, 12 Feb 2015
BBC Audio Factory logo

BBC bins pricey Windows Media, Audio Factory goes live

The BBC's Audio Factory goes live today, bringing with it the end of streaming audio over Windows Media. The broadcaster flagged the demise of Windows Media last year, when it also announced Audio Factory, a streaming tool delivering audio in the AAC codec over http. Audio Factory aims to standardise Auntie's audio delivery …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Feb 2015

Netflix to Cuba: Care to spend half your wages to see Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights?

Netflix has begun offering its TV and film streaming service in Cuba, where just five per cent of the 11.27 million-strong population has access to fixed broadband connections. The average monthly salary in the country as of 2013 was $17.77 (471 pesos) a month, according to the most recent figures from Cuba's National Statistics …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Feb 2015
Young hipster man wearing hat, suspenders, bow-tie and fake-looking tattoo-sleeve. Image via shutterstock

About that UK digital biz renaissance? Not so fast

Guest Opinion The Gibson Index business database has been surveying UK businesses since 2003. Here, founder Marcus Gibson explains why the Tech City quango’s "Tech Nation" survey touting the success of "digital" Britain is deeply flawed. The Tech City quango last week claimed to conduct the "first national" survey of the UK’s digital …
Marcus Gibson, 10 Feb 2015

'Kickass' Somali pirates get their asses kicked by Japanese ass-kickers

KickassTorrents clearly thought Somalia would be a good place to set up shop, given the ungovernable country's long association with pirates. But just two months after the hugely popular file-sharing site shifted from its kickass.to address to kickass.so, the team has had to go back to its previous domain – after kickass.so was …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Feb 2015
Virtual journalist files another scoop

Major US news organisations to develop ROBOT JOURNALISTS

In a development whose potential sinister consequences would be difficult to exaggerate, a number of major US new organisations have banded together in an alliance for the purpose of developing news-gathering robots. Nor is this some sort of HuffPost blogswarm news aggregation scrap-o-matic system: this plan would see actual …
Lewis Page, 6 Feb 2015
TwitterIPO

Has the world reached PEAK TWIT? Supplies of new Twitter users are drying up

Twitter finished off fiscal 2014 with a ripper fourth quarter in many senses, during which it doubled sales from the previous year - but the microblurt-based ads site gained fewer users than some investors hoped for. On Thursday, Twitter reported revenues of $479m for the three months ending on December 31, a 97.4 per cent gain …
Amy Pascal

Exit Interview: Sony Pics co-chair Amy Pascal flees 'Nork' hack studio

The co-chairman of hacker-ravaged Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) Amy Pascal has stepped down – and will form her own production company in association with the Hollywood studio. "I have spent almost my entire professional life at Sony Pictures and I am energized to be starting this new chapter based at the company I call home …
Iain Thomson, 5 Feb 2015
Sony Bravia with YouView

Sony Android tellies get YouView makeover

Pics Fancy a 10-hour flight from London to Las Vegas or 45 minutes on the train? Getting to Sony UK’s headquarters certainly takes the pain out of a CES visit, although unsurprisingly you do only get to see Sony stuff at the 2015 showcase event it held for the UK press this week. With its VAIO line sold off last year, Sony's focus …
Bob Dormon, 5 Feb 2015
Twitter for Mac New

Hungry Twitter starts spaffing ads ALL OVER THE WEB

Twitter is jumping into bed with news-reading app Flipboard and Yahoo! Japan in a bid to boost its advertising reach. The company said the deal to display promoted tweets on the third-party sites will "open a significant opportunity" to extend the reach of its "message" to a larger audience. Ameet Ranadive, Twitter's senior …
Kat Hall, 4 Feb 2015

CHAINSAW HORROR advert earns GiffGaff a slap from regulator

GiffGaff has been slapped for a second time by the UK's advertising regulator, this time for scaring kids with its YouTube advert depicting a woman screaming in terror while being pursued by a chainsaw-wielding maniac. After yelling "Someone please help me" a stream of other screaming characters appeared in its ad last year, …
Kat Hall, 4 Feb 2015

Netflix goes TITSUP WORLDWIDE (Total Inability To Support Usual Programming)

Those waiting for their next installment of Friends, or whatever, may have a bit of a wait – large numbers of people have complained the popular streaming service fell offline globally more than an hour ago. According to some, the site is now struggling back to its feet. Netflix has more than 50 million subscribers on Earth. …
Iain Thomson, 4 Feb 2015

National Lottery website goes TITSUP again

The UK National Lottery website was down and out for the second time in days this morning, indicating further plumbing work was required following last weekend’s network wobble. The site first crashed early on Sunday for roughly 18 hours due to a technical glitch that lotto operator Camelot Business Solutions told us had been …
Paul Kunert, 3 Feb 2015
EverQuest

Sony hurls Online Entertainment from the mothership

In an unexpected move, Sony has sold off its gaming division Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) – which was responsible for the pioneering massively multiplayer online (MMO) role-playing game EverQuest among other titles. On Monday, SOE announced that it had been acquired by Columbus Nova, a New York–based investment firm, for an …
Stop sign in front of a bush. Image via Shutterstock

Google, Amazon 'n' pals fork out for AdBlock Plus 'unblock' – report

Internet giants Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Taboola have reportedly paid AdBlock Plus to allow their ads to pass through its filter software. The confidential deals were confirmed by the Financial Times, the paper reported today. Eyeo GmbH, the German startup behind Adblock Plus, said it did not wish to comment. So far more …
Kat Hall, 2 Feb 2015
Pretty woman looks miffed. Copyright: Danil Nevsky via Shutterstock http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=149618984&src=id

Drunk on Friday night? Then YOU probably DIDN'T spot Facebook's privacy tweak

Facebook updated its privacy policy on Friday – a day traditionally chosen by politicians and football managers who are keen to bury bad news. While the planned tweakage was widely reported in November, the change came into effect on 30 January with little in the way of reaction from users [sorry, people] on the free-content ad …
Kelly Fiveash, 1 Feb 2015

The Pirate Bay clambers back online after cop raid sunk site for 7 weeks

Torrent search engine The Pirate Bay is back online weeks after a police raid on a Swedish data centre sunk the copyright-infringing clearinghouse site. Administrators behind the infamous site had promised to bring TPB back to life today, however it crept back online on Saturday, as first reported by file-sharing blog …
Team Register, 1 Feb 2015

Bitter Lake: Know your enemy? Impossible, surely, when you don't know if the enemy exists

TV Review My favourite moment in Bitter Lake – Adam Curtis' new two hour film about Afghanistan – is a clip of a posh British graduate teaching conceptual art to a class of Afghan women in traditional dress. She shows them Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain. You know – the dirty urinal. One shakes her head. The others just stare politely. “It was …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Jan 2015
Christopher Brookmyre, Dead Girl Walking book cover

Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, Dead Girl Walking and Chasing the Scream

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston reviews the latest litery treats with a look at Russia's uneasy balance of state control and capitalism through the eyes of Peter Pomerantsev. Top-notch Scots crime writer Chris Brookmyre has another gripping investigative outing for Jack Parlabane and Johann Hari looks at the reality and practicality …
Mark Diston, 31 Jan 2015
ARP Odyssey Korg reissue

Synths of the father: Making some noise at NAMM 2015

+Vids If you want to get an idea of how pop music will be sounding in 2015, then this year's exhibition of the National Association of Music Merchants, better known as the NAMM Show, that took place in California last week was the place to be – think of it as CES for musos. ARP Odyssey Korg reissue Original synth? Korg'a take on the …
Paul Wiffen, 30 Jan 2015

Hey, America. Canada's watchdog just slapped net neutrality rules on wireless internet

A decision by Canadian telecoms regulator CRTC may have significant implications after it applied net neutrality rules to wireless connections. In the ruling, the country's largest telco Bell was ordered to stop offering a mobile app that for $5 per month allowed customers to watch 10 hours of video from television channels …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Jan 2015
Close-up of a YouTube logo as viewed on a computer screen in close up...

'YOUTUBE is EVIL': Somebody had a tape running, Google...

Analysis It's not often a $450bn multinational is humbled by a single classical musician with a tape recorder. Yet that seems to be what happened this weekend. Google spends billions on marketing, paying lobbyists and buying influence. It funds over 150 organisations and overtook Goldman Sachs last year as the biggest corporate political …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jan 2015
First Charlie Hebdo cover after attack. copyright: charlie hebdo

Facebook kills pic of Mohammed weeks after Zuck's Je suis Charlie!

Earlier this month, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg proclaimed that his social network, used by millions, was a free-speech zone. "As I reflect on the attack and my own experience with extremism, this is what we all need to reject – a group of extremists trying to silence the voices and …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jan 2015
Meme of a dog "typing" at a computer, with the large font phrase "I have no idea what I'm doing' above him.

GoDaddy in doghouse over puppy-flogging Super Bowl ad

Domain registrar, web hosting company and now seemingly heartless facilitator of dog trading GoDaddy has pulled a Super Bowl ad depicting the sale of a puppy online, following a string of complaints that it might lead to mass dog farming. The ad featured owners happy to see their puppy after it had gone missing — but only …
Kat Hall, 28 Jan 2015

Twitter ATTENTION SEEKERS can now blab to each other IN PRIVATE

Twitter is set to become even more annoying. The profit-lite company has padded out its network with 30-second videos, which will be a feature seized upon by admen. It's an unsurprising move, given that Twitter bought SnappyTV – a vid service used to edit and share clips from live telly broadcasts – in July last year. The vid …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Jan 2015
 photo by kudomomo http://www.flickr.com/photos/kudumomo/

Facebook, Instagram, Tinder TITSUP*: HOW did anyone even find out?

Updated It appears Facebook and its snap-slinging subsidiary Instagram have fallen off the web. Hook-up-finder Tinder is also reportedly having problems. As of 22.45 Pacific Time on Monday, (06.45 UTC Tuesday) the websites and apps are apparently still suffering a widespread outage, which kicked off about 40 minutes ago. Facebook …
Chris Williams, 27 Jan 2015
Charles Bronson and Lorraine Etherington, Broadmoor, My Journey Into Hell book cover

Broadmoor: My Journey Into Hell, The Chimes and Cowboys and Indies

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston peruses the pick of publishing this week with a début novel from Anna Smaill whose musicality abounds in the post-apocalyptic tale. Back in the real world, one man apocalypse Charles Bronson tells more tales of life inside, and finally Gareth Murphy tracks the history of the music industry. The Chimes …
Mark Diston, 24 Jan 2015

YOU. Your women are mine. Give them to me. I want to sell them

Something for the Weekend, Sir? A friend of mine had his wife stolen three times this week. The first two times, they gave her back within hours. On the third occasion, however, they seemed determined to hold on to her for a month. This is the risk you take if you insist on uploading your wife to YouTube. I’d better explain. Be prepared for a sorry tale of …
Alistair Dabbs, 24 Jan 2015
Beats Music The Sentence

Apple's Beats, Google, and Sony hammered with unpaid royalty claim

New Apple toy Beats Electronics, along with Sony and Google, are among the targets of a lawsuit over claims of unpaid royalties. A New York publisher is suing the companies for failing to pay it royalties on songs published before 1972, the year US copyright law was updated to cover sound recordings. Zenbu Magazines claims that …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jan 2015
Close-up of a YouTube logo as viewed on a computer screen in close up...

YouTube: Nobody needs to get hurt Zoe, just sign the Ts&Cs

+Comment Google has revived its "our way or the highway" contracts with independent artists and labels, according to popular cellist Zoe Keating. On her Tumblr blog, Keating recounts a series of demands she says were made this week by YouTube, the ubiquitous video-sharing site bought by Google for $1.65bn. Either Keating signed the new T …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Jan 2015

Is it humanly possible to watch Gigli and Battlefield Earth back-to-back?

Our piece earlier this week on a study which proved The Wizard of Oz is the "most significant" movie ever – by dint of being the flick most referenced in subsequent works – provoked some interesting comments from our ever-lively readers. It goes without saying that a lot of your output centred on the researchers' possibly dodgy …
Lester Haines, 23 Jan 2015
chalk outline of  human body at crime scene

Lies, damn lies and Wikipedia: Murder suspect NOT a Plaxo founder – ex-staffer

News reports which claim that Minh Nguyen, who has been arrested for murder, was one of the founders of the address-book-in-the-cloud, Plaxo, appear to be based on an erroneous Wikipedia entry that had been repeatedly edited. The story was reported in The MailOnline (screenshot here), techcrunch (which seems to have modified its …
Team Register, 22 Jan 2015
CES 1980: telly it like it is

2015: The year of MAD TV science, but who can keep up?

Breaking Fad The dust may have settled on the latest International CES, but we’ll be suffering aftershocks from the show for years to come. As an event, this year’s trade show was about the next and the new, rather than the here and the now – and there was plenty of consternation to be heard amid the bluster. CES 1980: telly it like it is …
Steve May, 22 Jan 2015

Judge to Dish Network: your Hopper's hip, it ain't no Aereo

A US judge has shot down a motion to ban Dish Network's Hopper TV streaming service under the Supreme Court's recent ruling that shut down streaming startup Aereo. In a judgment made public on Wednesday, Judge Dolly Gee of the US District Court of the Central District of California found that the Hopper service was not subject …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jan 2015

Facebook is MORE IMPORTANT to humanity than PORTUGAL

Facebook has paid a bunch of consultants to make the dubious claim that the free-content ad network's worldwide economic value is far greater than the billions of dollars in sales it drums up each year. If figures from Deloitte are to be believed, Mark Zuckerberg's ego was stroked to the tune of $227bn, based on the assertion …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Jan 2015
netflix

Give ALL the EU access to Netflix, says Vince Cable

Seemingly frustrated at not being able to stream films in his Belgian hotel room, Business Secretary Vince Cable is calling for an "online single market" to address the weighty issue of making UK Netflix content accessible across the EU. Without unfair discrimination all online streaming services such as Netflix should be …
Kat Hall, 20 Jan 2015