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The Art of Social Media

Guy Kawasaki's guide to social media, Hanif Kureishi's cash crash catharsis and more

Page File El Reg bookworms Lucy Orr and Mark Diston look at publishing's quirkier offerings this week. We have Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick on how to catch the "social disease", Hanif Kureishi on how to lose a personal fortune, and the hilarious CD Rose on how to sink without trace in publishing. The Art of Social Media: Power Tips …
Gong Er (Ziyi Zhang)

The Grandmaster: Epic, heart-melting, oh and there's lots of kung fu

Film Review The Grandmaster is a tale so loosely based on the actual life of famed kung fu master Ip Man that it belongs more properly in the stable of martial arts fables such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and House of Flying Daggers. Ip Man (Tony Leung) gets ready for a rain-soaked fight. Though no one flies through the air ( …

How HAPPY am I on a scale of 1 to 10? Where do I click PISSED OFF?

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I am in a long, slow-moving queue of anxious passengers trudging through airport security like chained natives thrown into the lava pit by Ursula Andress giving a “lesson in obedience”. I remove all items from my trouser pockets and put them in my coat pockets. I take off my coat and put it in a plastic tray. My laptop goes in …

GOOGLE is COMING FOR YOUR CHILDREN

Comment Google is developing children-specific versions of its products aimed at the under-12s, smashing one of the tech industry's taboos. Pavni Diwanji, Google VP of engineering, says of the playground invasion that the goal is to "change our products to be fun and safe for children", or so she told USA Today. The paper drily notes …
iPod Touch 3G

Apple deliberately wiped rivals' music from iPods – iTunes court claim

Apples software forced people to delete music from their iPods if it was downloaded from an iTunes store rival, a court has heard. During a class-action antitrust hearing in California on Thursday, lawyers argued that Apple purposely made its iTunes application instruct users to reset their iPods – removing any tracks obtained …
Shaun Nichols, 4 Dec 2014
cloud

IBM inks another billion-dollar deal... with The Other Advertising Giant

IBM has announced another big outsourcing contract, nabbing a new deal with WPP, the world’s top advertising firm, for $1.25bn. Big Blue has worked with the ad giant before, but this is a new services contract to run its global tech platform in the cloud over the next seven years. The contract comes hot on the heels of another …
East Midlands Trains Meridian locos

Give nerds their own PRIVATE TRAIN CARRIAGES, say boffins

Anyone who has ever commuted on a train in the south east of England will have at some point considered ways to improve the service – such as, say, introducing actual cattle trucks onto the network for more luxurious travel. But tech enthusiasts from Cambridge have another idea entirely. What about a designated nerd carriage to …
Kat Hall, 3 Dec 2014

Gangnam Style BREAKS YouTube

YouTube has admitted that Psy's 2012 hit song Gangnam Style broke it. Or at least broke its counter that records how many times a video has been viewed. The breakage occurred because the video's been viewed more than 2,147,483,647 times. As YouTube explains, that's larger than a 32-bit integer, which mean the hit's hit-counter …
iPad iBooks app

Top Apple exec: 'I knew [ebook] prices were going to go up – hell, the whole world knew'

The head of Apple's software and services has hit out at a court ruling against the iTunes giant in a lawsuit over ebook price-fixing. Speaking in an interview with Fortune, senior vice-president Eddy Cue said Apple will fight to overturn its conviction for conspiring with publishers to inflate the price of digital titles. The …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Dec 2014

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

Blade Runner 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