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Google faces antitrust charges in the European Union

Google on Google: The carefully collated anti-trust truth

Google doesn’t always take the threat of anti-trust charges too seriously. After the Wall Street Journal implied that the FTC opted for less aggressive action against Google because of political pressure, Google responded with references to a laughing baby, and by personally attacking the newspaper’s owner. After all, when you’ …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jun 2015
Rotten apple. Pic: Shutterstock (http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-29447929/stock-photo-a-rotten-apple-on-a-white-background.html)

Apple seeks fawning 'journalists' for in-house 'news' self pluggery

Apple is hiring journos for its latest Apple News venture, a move that will presumably mean it is bringing some of the mountains of breathless product announcement coverage in-house. According to a job advert, Apple is looking for editors to help identify and deliver "the best in breaking national, global, and local news". The …
Kat Hall, 16 Jun 2015
Ashlee Vance, Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is shaping our Future

'It’s irrelevant whether Elon Musk is a dick or not. At least he’s trying to make things'

Interview Ex-Reg man Ashlee Vance has written a warts-and-all bio of Elon Musk. We quizzed him on how he did it – and why. Reg: This book has an interesting genesis – Musk wouldn’t co-operate, so you decided to do it anyway. Then he agreed to interviews... Vance: I probably benefited from Elon turning me down, because it totally pissed …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jun 2015

Sunday Times fires off copyright complaint at Snowden story critics

The Sunday Times has apparently sent a copyright complaint to critics of its article that claimed British and American overseas spies have had their covers blown by Edward Snowden. The London-based newspaper unquestioningly parroted the UK government's spin at the weekend, claiming that classified files obtained by the NSA …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jun 2015
india

Cheaper Apple iStuff? Foxconn eyes costs-busting Indian move

Taiwanese multinational and Apple device manufacturer Hon Hai/Foxconn is planning to expand into India, opening roughly ten factories and date centres by 2020, according to Indian government officials. Reuters reports the touted move may lower prices in "the world's third largest smartphone market where [Apple] trails Samsung …
How silicon roundabout will look

No Silicon Roundabout U-Bend U-Turn: Build that peninsula boys

Following a period of consultation, Transport for London has published a report showing that a significant proportion of the 1,300 people who expressed an opinion thought the idea of converting London's so-called Silicon Roundabout into a U-Bend incorporating a "peninsula" was A Good Thing. Under the plan, the amount of space …
Simon Rockman, 11 Jun 2015
Banned

I block, you block, we all block Twitter shock schlock

Twitter has introduced a feature that allows users to share their block lists with others to help single out abusive users. Beginning on Wednesday, the 140-character gab service has enabled Twitter users to share data on who they have blocked from following their own feeds, with the idea that others will use the information to …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jun 2015

Time to face the Apple Music: Spotify looks worried, and rightly so

Analysis Spotify has pulled in extra investment and put out figures showing a jump in paying customers - effectively puffing out its chest as hype-magnet Apple enters the music streaming market. In addition to the $350m in pulled in last month, the company has raised an additional $115m from TeliaSonera, valuing it at $8.5bn. Somewhat …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Jun 2015
8K video on YouTube

Spooky ghost town vid perfectly sums up YouTube's 8K playback: It's virtually no use to anyone (yet)

Vid Ultra-high definition 8K videos are appearing on YouTube, despite the fact that few home broadband connections on the planet can stream them, and even fewer screens are capable of showing them in their full glory. The video arm of the Mountain View ad giant turned heads this week when a mini-flick called "Ghost Towns in 8K" …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jun 2015

Nude celeb iCloud hack: Feds seize Chicago man's computers

The FBI has seized the computers of a Chicago man in connection with the "Fappening" hack of Apple's iCloud system, which saw celebrities' nude photographs published online, a recently unsealed warrant has revealed. Photographs and videos of more than 100 celebrities were published online last August after an unspecified …
Taylor Swift

Bring on the Music, Apple: Spotify ups the ante - and money pot

Music streaming biz Spotify has raised $115m (£75m) from an investor, part of the latest funding round which — according to reports — values the company at a staggering $8.5bn (£5.7bn). Swedish telephone biz TeliaSonera AB today confirmed it has handed over a further $115m to Spotify, with the company having been an investor for …
Kat Hall, 10 Jun 2015

Spanish TV journo leaves subordinates cowering after verbal shoeings

The news editor of Spanish regional television company Castilla-La Mancha Televisión (CLMTV) is herself in the news this week following accusations she persistently abuses her staff with foul-mouthed outbursts. According to recordings obtained by cowering subordinates, Victoria Vigón regularly offers frank off-camera analysis of …
Lester Haines, 10 Jun 2015

Life in plastic, it's fantastic: Playmobil supremo dies at 81

Horst Brandstätter, the man behind the global Playmobil phenomenon, has died aged 81. Horst Brandstatter. Pic: Brandstätter Group Horst Brandstätter. Pic: Brandstätter Group According to the official obit, Brandstätter passed away on 3 June at his home in Zirndorf, Bavaria, having continued to work to the end on what was "his …
Lester Haines, 9 Jun 2015
apple music

The thing about Apple's 'one MORE thing'? It's a streaming music thing

WWDC 2015 Apple CEO Tim Cook closed out the WWDC keynote today with a typical "one more thing" non-surprise: a Spotify clone that just about everyone in the entire world knew was coming. Dubbed Apple Music, the service will combine music-streamed-over-the-internet with a round-the-clock live radio station and media-sharing service for …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Jun 2015

Apple brews new News news to peruse - screws news dudes

WWDC 2015 Apple has burned its Newsstand app to the ground, and tried again with a new News application – one that tries to work with all publishers rather than a chosen few. Speaking today at the iOS giant's annual developers conference in San Francisco, Susan Prescott, app product development veep, said News will be added to people's …
US cashpoint. Pic: Tax Credits

Cynical Apple says it'll gouge less cash from iTunes strummers' sales

Apple is looking to move from the 30 per cent margin it makes on sales of apps through iTunes, lowering its take to protect the strength of the Apple ecosystem. The Financial Times (paywall) reports that Apple is in discussion with media companies ahead of a launch for Apple’s TV streaming service and curated streaming music …
Simon Rockman, 8 Jun 2015
Sharks by https://www.flickr.com/photos/enriquecespedes/ CC 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

UK's richest man backs music minnow merger to annoy Ticketzilla

Two former MySpace featurettes which became companies — Songkick, which alerts you to acts playing near you, and CrowdSurge which handles merchandise and ticket sales — have agreed to merge. They will "do business under the globally recognized Songkick brand, bringing together over 500 of the world’s biggest artists with a …
Uhura

Star Trek's Lt Uhura hospitalised in LA after stroke

Star Trek actress and NASA recruitment ambassador Nichelle Nicols is recovering in hospital following a stroke. Nichols – best known for playing Lt Nyota Uhura on TV and in the Star Trek film franchise – suffered a mild stroke while at her home in Los Angeles on Wednesday evening. Her agent Zach McGinnis informed Nichols’ …
Gavin Clarke, 5 Jun 2015
gavel_judgment_channel

Virgin Media wins ELEVENTH patent case against Rovi

After eleven claims and seven years, Virgin has won an eleventh patent dispute with Rovi over the design of its user interface after Rovi withdrew the claim of patent infringement. The specific claim was for Electronic Programme Guide software using information downloaded from the internet. The patent is now marked as having …
Simon Rockman, 4 Jun 2015
It's upgrade time again folks...

Lonely Pirate cheers on Big Copyright-bashing EU commissars

The EU's sole Pirate Party MEP has welcomed rumours that the European Commission is to get tough with big Hollywood firms’ geo-blocking activities. According to a Bloomberg report the EU's competition chief, Margrethe Vestager, is set to send a so-called “statement of objections” to US movie studios 20th Century Fox, Warner …

Facebook to slather Instagram in ad goo as photo-sharing app OPENS WIDE

Facebook has confirmed plans to blast its photo filter app Instagram with ads. The Mark Zuckerberg-run outfit bought Instagram in 2012 for roughly $715m and, since then, it has opened up the service to a small number of brands. Now, businesses of all sizes will soon be able to flood the app with ads. On Tuesday, Instagram said …
Kelly Fiveash, 3 Jun 2015
Clint Eastwood bounty hunter

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (of the net). Make your vote count

Which tech company do you most love to hate? Why not nominate them for ISPA’s tech villain of the year award? The British Internet Services Providers’ Association holds annual Internet Hero and Internet Villain awards and is once again asking the public for their nominations. Last year, GCHQ was crowned the internet industry’s …
TVs by Holly at Flickr, CC 2.0 license

Network negotiations nix 2015 Apple TV streaming

Fanbois hoping that Apple would disrupt the daylights out of television are, once again, going to have to wait to see what Cupertino thinks will make the idiot box sexy, with rights-holders proving the stumbling block. While Apple has long described its Apple TV device as a “hobby”, underneath that lies deadly intent – it wants …
Apple Beats headphones

Will Apple reveal a $10-a-month Spotify rival next week? Yeah, yeah, probably

Apple is gearing up to stream music online for $10 a month, a service that will rival Spotify, it is rumored. Apparently, the cloud-hosted jukebox will be separate from the iTunes Store, and will be revealed at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) – which kicks off on June 8 in San Francisco. Apple is expected to …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Jun 2015

Naked cyclists take a hard line on 'aroused' protest participant

The Canterbury World Naked Bike Ride jaunt on Saturday got off to an entertaining start as one "over-excited" male participant was spotted sporting an erection. One shaken onlooker said: "Everyone was taking their clothes off to get ready for the ride. I heard gasps and I turned around – it was a horrible sight. It's fair to say …
Lester Haines, 1 Jun 2015
Google Photo

Tossed all your snaps into the new Google Photos? You read the terms, right? ... RIGHT?

Netizens who have been scrambling to upload their photo libraries into Google's new cloud-hosted Photos service could find themselves sharing more than they wanted to with the Mountain View advertising giant. A clause in the Google Terms of Service notes that The Chocolate Factory reserves the rights to use anything you decided …
Shaun Nichols, 29 May 2015

Twitch.tv: Clean your streams of titillating titty titles off our screens

Gameplay broadcaster Twitch has banned users from streaming racy live video from "adult only" games. An update to the Amazon-owned site's rules of conduct states titles with a US rating of "Adults Only" (AO) are no longer permitted for streaming. Games rated "Mature" and cleaned-up ports of AO games are still permitted, so …
Shaun Nichols, 28 May 2015
The Big Bang Theory

CBS boss says he'll show off his crown jewels on Apple TV – for a large enough check

The head of US TV giant CBS said he is open to a deal that would put the network's programming on Apple's TV boxes – if the price is right. Les Moonves, whose TV empire includes CSI and The Big Bang Theory, said Apple's foray into internet telly will need a television network to create the entertainment. He said Apple will have …
Shaun Nichols, 27 May 2015

Swarm of Apple iRobots released to map interior of Cupertino HQ

An indoor mapping project at Apple has filled the halls of its Cupertino headquarters with autonomous cartographer droids. Sources tell 9to5Mac that "the company has let loose autonomous robots with iBeacon sensors, similar in size to iRobot’s Roomba vacuum cleaners, to collect data for its indoor mapping project." While …

Record labels back indie muso's bid to snatch .music from web giants

In what could prove to be an extraordinary David versus Goliath story, an independent musician may walk away with the highly coveted .music top-level domain, beating off competition from Google, Amazon, and the music industry itself. Constantine Roussos' DotMusic Limited, based in Cyprus, has received the formal backing of the …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 May 2015

Google patents DEVIL TOY which will BRAINWASH KIDS

A Google patent uncovered by tech law firm SmartUp seems to describe a toy that will look at and talk to your kids, then update a remote media device, depending upon the child's feedback. The inventor of the evil robot is named as Richard Wayne DeVaul, whose job title is "director of rapid evaluation and mad science" at Google X …

Spotify smashing new media paradigms with something called ‘video’

Streaming music pioneer Spotify wants to broaden its appeal beyond music buffs by incorporating podcasts, video, and Pandora-style personal “radio stations” into its music service. The enhanced Spotify was unveiled yesterday. The BBC is one of several media partners offering video, along with Vice News, Comedy Central and the …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 May 2015
Statue of a girl. Pic: Quinn Dombrowski

Backpage child sex trafficking lawsuit nixed thanks to 'internet freedoms'

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought against a classified ads site used by pimps to facilitate underage prostitution, arguing that the “internet freedom” of website operators trumped the rights of three girls who were trafficked and raped. The girls argued that Backpage, a US classified advertising website jointly owned by …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 May 2015

Google, Twitter search deal: Did micro-blabbing site gag racy tweets to satisfy ad giant?

Comment Google will start displaying real-time tweets on its search pages after a deal was struck with Twitter. The change is currently only in the US and, at the moment at least, only on mobile devices. But in order to have access to its real-time feed Google is seemingly paying Twitter a standard flat licensing fee. If you search on …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 May 2015
Taylor Swift

Twitter CRAWLS to Google ON ITS KNEES, starts blowing content

Twitter has crawled to Google to get Tweets displayed in the ad giant's search results once again. The micro-blabbing site previously had a deal with Mountain View to provide feeds of tweets directly within its search results. However, that two-year-long agreement ended in July 2011. Now, four years later, it's a different story …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 May 2015

YouTube Kids 'showed nippers how to make nooses, play with fire'

Two advocacy groups have filed an update to their Federal Trade Commission complaint against Google's YouTube Kids app for "false and deceptive marketing", alleging that Google is deceiving parents by marketing YouTube Kids as a safe place for under-fives when they believe the app is "rife" with inappropriate content. The …
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, speaking at the 2015 F8 conference

Zuck can EFF off: Internet.org is SO NOT the INTERNET

Update The Electronic Frontier Foundation has joined criticism of Facebook's Internet.org project, saying it runs "a real risk" of turning the few websites that Zuck & Co. select, "including, of course, Facebook itself", into a "ghetto" for poor internet users – instead of being a stepping stone to the full WWW. The EFF is quick to …
Jay Z wearing a silly hat at President Obama's inauguration.

Jay-Z freestyle attack on Tidal's rivals leaked to Tidal's rivals

Criticism of Tidal competitors, delivered by Jay-Z in an exclusive live-streamed performance for subscribers, has ironically been leaked onto those competitors' sites. Jay-Z's "B-Sides" concert has been uploaded to YouTube by an account we believe is unlikely to hold the rights to the recording. This is not the first time Tidal …
shutterstock_222258445-roadblock

Blocking mobile adverts just became that little bit easier

For those mobile operators wanting to block adverts and prevent them reaching subscribers' screens (all in the name of reducing bandwidth usage and saving customers’ money of course) Israeli tech company Shine can make that happen. “There is a lot of grey in there between advertisers and publishers,” said Roi Carthy, the company …
Simon Rockman, 19 May 2015
Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs movie gets October release date

The Aaron Sorkin-penned, Danny Boyle-directed and Michael Fassbender-starring Steve Jobs movie has emerged with a release date and teaser trailer. The film, titled Steve Jobs, will see the light of day on 9 October. The sparse teaser trailer, below, gives us a look at Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, Jeff Daniels as John Sculley …
Team Register, 18 May 2015

Google and Max Mosley settle thrash'n'tickle sex vid spat

Google has struck a private settlement deal with Max Mosley over images that show the ex-Formula One chief engaging in a sadomasochistic sex pantomime. However, videos and photos of the thrash'n'tickle sex sesh were still viewable via Google.co.uk's search engine, at time of writing. The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 May 2015
Sony ICF-7600D radio

Pandora ordered to pay up extra royalties in BMI row

Pandora has lost a legal decision that will see the company fork out more money to performing rights clearing house group BMI to pay for its content. A court in New York found the streaming music giant to be liable for additional royalties, bumping the fees it owes to BMI up from 1.7 per cent to 2.5 per cent of revenues. The …
Shaun Nichols, 15 May 2015