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Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump waxwork. Pic: Shawn Perez

Tom Hanks NICKED my COPYRIGHTED PIC, claims Brit photog

Hollywood film actor Tom Hanks' WhoSay page is attributing copyright of a photograph to the millionaire rather than to the British photographer from Cornwall to whom it actually belongs - and the plucky Brit is now fighting for the recognition he deserves. The photo was taken by snapper Tim Martindale last year, and features his …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Jun 2014
Twitter girl

Move over, John Pilger, let us IT scandal-mongerers stick it to you

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Many thanks to the gentle readers who wished me well over the last couple of weeks as I lay in bed watching the ceiling spin. For those of you who enjoy listening to people whose name you are familiar with but whom you don’t really know talk at length about their petty illnesses as if they were life-threatening events of …
Alistair Dabbs, 13 Jun 2014
Star Wars: The Complete Saga

Han Solo headed for lengthy stay in bacta tank after Bay Door Control cockup

Someone at Pinewood Studios' equivalent of Bay Door Control is probably in a good deal of trouble after septuagenarian Hollywood heart-throb Harrison Ford had his ankle broken "by a garage door" on the set of the new Star Wars movie. Ford, 71, is to reprise his role as interstellar smuggler scamp turned Rebel general Han Solo. …
Lewis Page, 13 Jun 2014

Amazon Prime Music opens – but where's the streaming music?

Amazon has rolled out a new streaming music service in the US for its Prime club members, but there’s lots of music missing. The Prime Music service replaces the MP3 Store and Cloud Player apps. However, it doesn’t include any tracks newer than six months old, and there’s reportedly nothing from Universal Music Group, the world’ …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jun 2014

Vendor mouthpieces promise to stop spamming Wikipedia

Eleven global-scale flackhauses have twigged to the idea that polishing their clients' turds on Wikipedia is a high-risk strategy, and have solemnly pledged not to do so. Last year, Wikipedia bit the bullet and began investigating cases of sockpuppeting – or, as Wikimedia Foundation executive director Sue Gardner put it, “paid …
channel_teaser_money_top

The Force of tax breaks brings Star Wars filming to Blighty

The first Star Wars standalone film will be shot in Blighty in 2015, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has announced. Osborne was on the London-based set of Star Wars Episode VII at Pinewood Studios last night, where he tweeted that the first of the movies being made alongside the new trilogy would also be …

Debunking Jimbo: Slippery Google tries to evade European privacy

Analysis Google’s latest celebrity recruit, Wikipedia cofounder Jimmy Wales, recently gave an extraordinary performance on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show. We want to share with you what he said – verbatim – with expert commentary. It’s about the decision of a top European court that Google cannot be exempt from the Continent's privacy and …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Jun 2014
A fresh horse dump

TalkTalk whips BT with riding crop over sport fibs in telly ad

Budget telco TalkTalk - whose boss Dido Harding probably knows a thing or two about sportsmanship having once competed as a jockey - has successfully challenged a BT advert for misleading television viewers. The Advertising Standards Authority upheld the company's complaint against an ad for BT Sport that featured presenter Jake …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Jun 2014
Evernote Android app screenshot

Evernote taken out by DDoS attack

Popular mobile and online note app Evernote is recovering from a distributed denial of service attack that took its service offline for hours last night. The firm was hit by the DDoS attack from around 10.45 BST last night, leaving folks unable to access their notes in the cloud or sync their files from one device to another. …
Image from Google's Street Art collection

Put down that sandblaster: Google adds street art to online gallery

Google is adding a street art collection into its Art Project archives. The company said on Tuesday that it will be opening up the Art Project, part of its Cultural Institute site, to a collection of 5,000 pieces of street art. The Street Art collection, currently featured as a special project on the site, will include location …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jun 2014
warwick slate1

'CAPTAIN CYBORG': The wild-eyed prof behind 'machines have become human' claims

For 14 years, The Register has been chronicling the publicity stunts of Kevin Warwick, an attention-seeking academic with a sideline in self-mutilation*. In fact, Warwick has been making improbable claims to the press for much longer than that: over twenty years. But the world has continued to relay Warwick's stunts and …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Jun 2014

Facebook's new self-destructing pic app SELF-DESTRUCTS

Facebook mistakenly hit the button to unleash a new app called Slingshot that's similar to Snapchat – clumsily releasing it early on Apple's iTunes store yesterday. The Menlo Park biz has yanked the software, which allows you to send self-destructing sexts photos to tease friends. Gizmodo noted Slingshot requires a little more …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Jun 2014

Freeview's rumoured '£100m YouView killer' is real – and it's yet another digital TV thing

+Comment A new UK TV platform dubbed Freeview Connect has been officially announced after many months of rumour within the industry. It will provide catch-up and other on-demand services for terrestrial UK broadcasters – much as YouView does today. The move leaves Freeview shareholder Sky, which has its own telly platform, out in the …

Euro judges: Copyright has NOT changed, you WON'T get sued for browsing the web

The highest European Court today confirmed that the internet can carry on working just like it has for 20 years. In doing so, it was batting away a strange request for "clarification" on copyright from the UK's Supreme Court. For the internet to function, it was established very early on that certain devices - such as routers, …

Has Google gone too far? Indie labels say it's crunch time for The New Economy

Indie music labels say today's tech giants are behaving more badly than the old record industry at its worst. At a press conference in London yesterday, the labels' reps explained why they're seeking emergency action against Google from Europe's anti-competition authorities: Google is negotiating music-streaming royalties with …
Still from Miley Cyrus music video for Wrecking Ball

Indie record labels to haul YouTube before the European Commission

Indie record labels say they will lodge a formal competition complaint with the European Commission over Google-owned YouTube's alleged bully-boy tactics. The move comes as Google prepares to launch a Spotify-like streaming service using the YouTube brand. Last month, the indie labels' trade associations complained the …
Parrot BeBop

You know what today's movies need? MORE DRONES

The US aviation authority is considering whether it should hand over permits for film and TV firms to use drones to take aerial photo and video shots. Seven photo and production companies, backed by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for regulatory exemptions …
Lupita Nyong'o and Gwendoline Christie

Lupita Nyong'o, Game of Thrones' Brienne join Star Wars cast

Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o and Game of Thrones fan favourite Gwendoline Christie have joined the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII in as-yet-unknown roles. Lupita Nyong'o and Gwendoline Christie Nyong’o, who shot to fame after her star-making turn in 12 Years A Slave and Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth in GoT, …
Photo taken by Conny Liegl

Myspace: Where are you going? We still have all your HUMILIATING PICS

Remember those regrettable party photos you snapped during spring-break in 2005? Myspace does. And the once-massive social network isn't above waving them about if it means getting you to come back and check out its redesigned music portal. The company has recently been sending users an email message (as first reported by …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Jun 2014

Kardashian's bottom plumps down on Instagram throne

All those worried about the future of civilisation should look away now. One of Kim Kardashian's wedding pictures has become the most liked image in the history of Instagram, garnering almost two million digital thumbs ups over the past week. Some 1.96 million liked the following image, with 35.8 thousand people choosing to …
Jasper Hamill, 2 Jun 2014
Peril Sensitive Sunglasses - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Is the answer to life, the universe and everything hidden in Adams' newly uncovered archive?

We all know that the, er, "bad guys are Vogons". Douglas Adams explained as much in his cracking 1979 sci-fi novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. But what if there are new baddies to be unearthed and nerdish gags to marvel at – well, nerdishly – from the words of the great man himself? Wait no longer: a new biography – …
Kelly Fiveash, 31 May 2014
Dr Dre Beats Solo

Brunner does a runner: Beats designer must hand the brand to Apple

The man who designed the famous Beats by Dre headphones will not continue to work on the brand after its sale to Apple, it has been announced. Robert Brunner was head of industrial design at Apple in the early '90s – where he worked on Macintosh, the original PowerBook and Newton – although he has quipped: "I sometimes joke that …
Jasper Hamill, 30 May 2014
No sign

How to strip pesky copyright watermarks from photos ... says a FACEBOOK photo bod

A Facebook software engineer who published a detailed guide to stealing photographs online – by explaining how to remove watermarks and ignore any copyright restrictions – has been shamed into removing the blog post. It's unclear if Jesse Chen still has a future at Facebook. The company, when quizzed by The Register, declined to …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 May 2014
Amazon Kindle 3

Amazon turns screws on French publisher: Don't feel sorry for Hachette, it's just 'negotiation'

Amazon has admitted that it’s restricting the sales of books from publisher Hachette over a contract dispute and defended the restrictions as a legitimate negotiating tactic. The online marketplace has been facing criticism from users, authors and publishing houses as it became apparent it was changing how it sold Hachette books …
TalkTalk YouView set top box launch

Carry On YouView Regardless, BBC Trust tells the BBC

The BBC can carry on investing in internet TV outfit YouView, the BBC Trust has ruled. The oversight panel "endorsed" the broadcaster's continued involvement in the video on-demand organisation and has published a report supporting its decision. YouView today is now largely sold through its two big ISP shareholders – BT and …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 May 2014
snowden SXSW

Privacy at the Donmar Warehouse: All your data are belong to THEM

Theatre review Josie Rourke, mummer-in-chief at the Donmar Warehouse theatre in London, was halfway through researching a new play on how “smartphones and the internet are changing the ways in which we live”, when the Guardian and its partners began publishing the Edward Snowden files. This timely interruption gave Rourke new impetus and …
Colin Myer, 24 May 2014
Boba Fett

Disney plans standalone Star Wars movies to go with the main trilogy

A new trilogy for the Lucasfilm cash cow Star Wars is apparently not enough for Disney, which has announced that it will be working on “multiple” standalone movies from the same inspiration with its acquisition. Boba Fett In a post to the official Star Wars news site, Disney and Lucasfilm said that Monsters and Godzilla …
Mike Hudack of Facebook

Facebook exec: I HATE the INTERNET and I REALLY hate journalism

Comment Modern internet journalism is terrible and full of trivial clickbait designed for Facebook, says Mike Hudack, director of product management at, um, Facebook. Of course, he didn't quite phrase it like that. Writing on (where else?) Facebook, Hudack takes aim at a mainstream media which he says has become a "hollowed out" husk: …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 May 2014
Rebecca & Fiona - Bullets

Spotify boasts 10 million paying subscribers ... Um, is that all?

Spotify says it now has 10 million paying subscribers and 40 million active users. The last official user numbers were released in March last year, when it said it had five million active users. Spotify now operates in 56 countries around the world, up from 20 a year ago, CEO Daniel Ek said. The privately held company, whose …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 May 2014
Angry woman on mobile

TV body seeks attractive mobile operators for mutual action replays

+Analysis TV on mobiles? Yes, you’ve heard that one before. It’s been one of the most persistent flops of the past fifteen years. But then so were mobile app stores until somebody, Apple, put enough pieces in place to make them work. Without much fanfare, yesterday saw the launch of a new UK-based initiative, the Mobile Video Alliance ( …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 May 2014
Sonos phone and tablet app

Sonos turns up volume, slips out new Wi-Fi speaker control app

Streaming Wi-Fi speaker supplier Sonos has updated its speaker app so that it looks a little nicer and does more. Screen appeal on tablets is not so good, however, and it doesn't solve an existing Playbar surround sound issue. This software, known as the Sonos controller (v5.0), runs in iOS v6.0 or higher, as well as on Android …
Chris Mellor, 21 May 2014
Star Wars: The Complete Saga

JJ Abrams and Star Wars: I've got a bad feeling about this

“Boys are only interested in pirates and Star Wars,” my daughter tells me. She is four and speaks with the confidence and clarity only a four-year-old can manage. Star Wars Thirty-seven years on, and the Star Wars franchise still captures kids' imaginations Her proof? The games played, toys brought in and the clothes worn by …
Gavin Clarke, 21 May 2014
Qinling panda

Panda-monium as Google updates key search algorithm

Google has updated Panda, the algorithm it uses to weed out what it deems to be low-quality search results. Panda was introduced in early 2011 as part of The Chocolate Factory's never-ending quest to sell more ads ensure search results satisfy searchers' thirst for knowledge. It's been controversial because some web publishers …
Simon Sharwood, 21 May 2014
By Mike.T https://www.flickr.com/photos/fallstreak_holes/

Welcome to Heathrow Terminal, er, Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung has decided to allow its marketing department's imaginations to take flight, which has resulted in a rather crap plan to effectively rename Heathrow's Terminal Five. The mega airport terminal in London will feature signs that read "Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5" in a move a Sammy exec described as "one-off opportunity to …
Jasper Hamill, 19 May 2014
Photo of a stack of $100 bills

Google staggers toward BEEELLION-dollar Twitch gobble - report

The Chocolate Factory has reportedly developed a yearning to take a bigger bite out of the video game streaming market, and has offered a cool billion to take over Twitch. Variety, citing “sources familiar with the project” (presumably because they are a better source than someone picked at random off the street), says the …
<i>Star Wars</i> clapboard on the first day of shooting

Internet rejoices over Star Wars, um, clapboard pic

Pic Production company Bad Robot has tweeted the very first picture from the set of the new Star Wars movie, which may or may not be called Star Wars Episode VII: The Ancient Fear. <i>Star Wars</i> clapboard on the first day of shooting The picture doesn’t give much away about the movie, in fact, it tells folks absolutely nothing …
Team Register, 16 May 2014
Game of Thrones Season One Blu-ray disc set

Game of Thrones written on brutal medieval word processor and OS

That Game of Thrones author George R R Martin writes his tomes and scripts using WordStar has been common knowledge for a while: he blogged about it back in 2011 . Yesterday the chronicler of the cruel pseudo-medieval Seven Kingdoms popped up on US chat show Conan and explained why. As you'll see in this excerpt from the …
Simon Sharwood, 15 May 2014

James Bond producers sign on for Edward Snowden movie

Sony Pictures has announced it has optioned No place to hide, the tome penned by Edward Snowden's amanuensis, to turn it into a movie. Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson of EON Productions, the production company behind James Bond films, have the job of getting the book onto the screen. The pair co-produced on Skyfall, …
Simon Sharwood, 15 May 2014
HR Giger

The weird and wonderful mind of H.R Giger is no more

Obit Hans Rudolf Giger, the Swiss artist and designer who scared a generation of movie-goers witless with his Alien creations, has died at the age of 74 after a falling accident at his Swiss home. HR Giger on the set of Alien Giger on the set of Alien It's a fair bet that a sizable proportion of El Reg's readership have some of …
Iain Thomson, 13 May 2014
Credit: Kelly Reeves https://www.flickr.com/photos/misskelly/5291975972/ CC-by-nd

Apple, Beats and fools with money who trust celeb endorsements

Feature Reports suggest Apple is in talks to buy Beats Electronics, which was founded by hip-hopper André Young, aka Dr Dre, for an astronomical amount of money. At the same time Pono, founded by another Young, namely Neil, promises to transform music delivery. John Watkinson, aka JR Cool Dubbya, wonders what is going on. One aspect of …
John Watkinson, 13 May 2014

Stop bullying SUPER FAT GODZILLA, urge movie stars

The stars of a new Godzilla film have rallied round its big-boned monster star after cruel Japanese bullies renamed it Fatzilla. Twitter users rounded on the corpulent sea beast after publicity shots showed it had piled on a few pounds since the last films. Now the stars of the latest movie have come to the bulky beast's …
Jasper Hamill, 13 May 2014
First World War soldiers, source: IWM

WWI historical project will catalog eight million life stories

The UK's Imperial War Museums has kicked off a massive social networking project that will seek to catalog the lives of more than 8 million people who served or were killed in The Great War. The Lives of the First World War campaign is asking members of the public to contribute time, data, and historical artifacts to help …
Shaun Nichols, 13 May 2014