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The final score: Gramophones 1 – Glassholes 0

Something for the Weekend, Sir? What do the following have in common: a hand holding a half-litre carton of milk, the back of a balding head, a grinning selfie taken in a mirror and a wonky street scene with nothing of any interest going on? That’s right, it’s your life – courtesy of Google Glass. A number of colleagues have spent the last few weeks playing …
Alistair Dabbs, 11 Jul 2014

Verizon points more fingers at Netflix: It's YOUR pals slowing data

Verizon and Netflix are having another go-round in their ongoing war over network access for streaming video. In a report posted to its Public Policy Blog, Verizon vice-president of federal regulatory affairs David Young said claims that it deliberately throttles Netflix traffic are untrue and that any traffic bottlenecks were …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jul 2014
Cat 5 cable

Dish Network to FCC: Block that Comcast/Time Warner merger

US satellite TV provider Dish Network has asked the Federal Communications Commission to block the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, and it's none too happy about AT&T's pending acquisition of DirecTV, either. The company's position was made known on Wednesday in a mandatory filing with the FCC summarizing a …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jul 2014
The ITMugs Surf for Porn mug

Google went behind our backs and really HURT US, squeal upset porn kingpins

The porn industry has hit back at Google after its decision to ban smutty sites from using its main advertising platform. The search engine's new policy on porn came into force last week and effectively bans any grumble movie makers from promoting their sites using Adwords, a service which puts paid-for advertising next to …
Jasper Hamill, 10 Jul 2014

Presto! After Supreme Court loss, Aereo says it's a cable company now

After months of claiming it had "no Plan B" if it lost its case before the US Supreme Court, TV-streaming outfit Aereo has told a judge that it wants to remain in business – as a cable operator. In a four-page letter to US District Judge Alison Nathan, first revealed by the Hollywood Reporter, Aereo's attorneys make the case for …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jul 2014
Photo of burning books

Amazon woos dispute-stung Hachette scribes with 100% ROYALTIES

Amazon has turned up the heat in its ongoing dispute with book giant Hachette, having approached several of the publisher's authors and their agents with a proposal that sounds too good to pass up. For the last few months, Amazon has been playing hardball with Hachette over pricing of the publisher's e-books. Among other …

Mexican watchdog sinks teeth into Carlos Slim over 'market fixing'

Comment The world’s second richest human, Carlos Slim, is being confronted by Mexico’s recently reformed and renamed telecoms regulator Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (Ifetel). His fixed line incumbent operator, Telmex, stands accused of breaching local monopoly rules through close collaboration with pay TV operator Dish Mexico …
Faultline, 8 Jul 2014
Doctor Who meme

Doctor Who season eight scripts leak online

Scripts for the first five episodes of the yet-to-be-screened and highly-anticipated series eight of Doctor Who have been leaked online. The leak is said to have come from BBC Worldwide's new Miami office, which was arranging translation of the new series for non-English speaking markets. The scripts are said to bear a BBC …
Darren Pauli, 8 Jul 2014
Broken record

Google YouTube U-turn: Indie music doomsday 'postponed'

+Comment Google has postponed its plan to block independent music companies who wouldn't agree to the terms of its proposed deal, the FT reports - but it isn’t clear for how long. Small independent companies are refusing to sign new pro forma deals with Google, which has publicly said it will block their music videos from YouTube – an …

Star Wars: These are the 'unknown' actors we were looking for

Just when we were starting to suspect the next instalment of Star Wars would be a celeb-only affair, two relatively unknown actors were announced as cast members. Star Wars casts relative unknowns Pip Andersen and Crystal Clarke Open auditions for an unnamed film that everyone knew was Star Wars: Episode VII were held across …
Video

Is there too much sex and violence on TV?

British television's 9pm watershed is 50 years old this month, and TV watchdog Ofcom has published figures showing that while it's still relevant in protecting kiddies from the worst televisual excesses, viewers are increasingly tolerant of sex, violence and bad language. The watershed ensures there's a non-abrupt transition to …
Lester Haines, 4 Jul 2014
BBC logo 2012

ICO probes BBC after secret British army unit's info LEAKED

A BBC Panorama researcher who leaked confidential material from the programme's production company to the target of an investigation allegedly also leaked highly sensitive data about a secret British army unit. According to a report in the Independent, the UK's privacy regulator has been notified of what appears to be a serious …
Team Register, 3 Jul 2014
Chris Milk: The Treachery of Sanctuary

Barbican Digital Revolution exhibition: Techies, arty types get intimate

Pics Opening today at Britain's foremost brutalist building, the Barbican multi-arts centre, Digital Revolution is an exhibition that journeys through creative technology from the 1970s to the present day – with interactivity at its heart. More multi-floored nightclub than exhibition space, the various themed rooms bring together …
Bob Dormon, 3 Jul 2014

Facebook pays half a billion dollars for firm that slaps ads on videos

Facebook has paid an estimated half a billion dollars to buy a video advertising firm called LiveRail. Facebook has not officially announced how much it paid for Liverail, but estimates have ranged between $400m and $500m - a huge chunk of change by anyone's standards. There was no word on the cash to stock mix that FB coughed …
Jasper Hamill, 3 Jul 2014
Grand Theft Auto Lindsay Lohan lookalike

Lindsay Lohan sues Grand Theft Auto V makers for 'using her image'

Actress Lindsay Lohan is suing game devs Rockstar and Take-Two for allegedly copying her into their Grand Theft Auto V (GTAV) game. Grand Theft Auto Lindsay Lohan lookalike Lohan claims that the character of the rather vapid actress "Lacey Jonas" in the game amounts to using her likeness without permission and has accused …

OMG, sorry about 'poor comms' on Facebook secret emoto-meddle tests. Laters!

A top Facebook chief has admitted the firm did a poor job of informing its users about a controversial 2012 experiment that manipulated the emotions of nearly 700,000 people on the free content ad network. COO Sheryl Sandberg told reporters during a meeting in India on Wednesday that Facebook had made a hash of the secret test …
Kelly Fiveash, 3 Jul 2014
Pigeon crapping on statue

Amazon reseller lobs sueball at etailer and Apple over listings yank

An Amazon electronics reseller has filed a lawsuit against the mega-etailer alleging that the firm "conspired" with Apple to put it out of business because it was selling iPad covers at a cheap price. Hard 2 Find Accessories (H2F) claims that Amazon revoked its seller’s privileges, effectively closing its operations down, …
Ultimate Ears Boom

We need to talk about SPEAKERS: Sorry, 'audiophiles', only IT will break the sound barrier

Feature Today’s loudspeakers are nowhere near as good as they could be, due in no small measure to the presence of "traditional" audiophile products. In the future, loudspeakers will increasingly communicate via digital wireless links and will contain digital processing. Indeed, the link between IT and loudspeakers is destined to grow …
Kindle Big Brother

Google buys shagadelic playlist biz Songza

Analysis Google has acquired music streaming biz Songza for its data-harvesting capabilities. The Pandora-like website creates "mood music" playlists for specific contexts, so it will suggest a playlist of songs for when you're about to, say, have a shower - or have sex. Songza's CEO rather gave the game away when he told CNET: There …

Golf bloke to Richard Branson: Get on board the future bus, where there's 'NO WEATHER'

George Orwell once said the future would be like a "boot stamping on a human face – forever". It turns out that he was totally wrong. There won't be any stamping, but there'll certainly be shoes. Some of these will be 3D-printed, whilst others will be able to beam data back to Richard Branson – or rather a squad of number- …
Jasper Hamill, 2 Jul 2014

Twitter swallows BEHAVIOURAL AD firm TapCommerce

Twitter plans to buy mobile behavioural ad outfit TapCommerce for an undisclosed sum. It's the micro-blogging site's latest strategy to attempt to turn around a profit at the company, which floated on to Wall Street late last year. Twitter said in a blog post that TapCommerce was "a leader in mobile retargeting and re- …
Kelly Fiveash, 1 Jul 2014
Peter Capaldi in costume as Doctor Who

BBC offers briefest of teasers for the next Doctor Who

The BBC has released the briefest of brief teasers for the new series of Doctor Who, coming in at just 15 seconds of Peter Capaldi’s first turn behind the wheel of the Tardis. Youtube Video We can, I suppose, count ourselves lucky that the teaser features some actual talking, although there’s only some time to squeeze in a …

Google Glass faces UK cinema ban: Heaven forbid someone films you crying in a rom-com

Moviegoers in the UK will be asked to remove their Google Glasses and similar camera-fitted wearable computers over privacy and piracy fears. The Cinema Exhibitors Association (CEA) – which represents virtually all theaters in Blighty – fears bootleggers will don the devices to record and illegally distribute films. As such, …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Jun 2014
Monty Python foot UHDTV

And now for someone completely brilliant: Stephen Hawking to join Monty Python on stage

Renowned physicist and boffin of the highest order Stephen Hawking is to join famous 1970s British surrealist comedy group Monty Python on stage in the comedians' first live show in decades. Youtube Video A video intro at the press conference featured some gentle ribbing from Mick Jagger about the fact that the Python crew – …

Amazon offers Blighty's publishing industry 'assisted suicide'

Amazon wants to dictate book prices, and even print copies of publishers' books itself, a report in trade mag Bookseller suggests. UK publishers are, we're told, none too happy. Over in the US, Amazon is already locked in battle with Hachette, the first publisher whose terms with Amazon are coming up for renegotiation: Amazon …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jun 2014

Indie labels: 5 reasons why we're hauling YouTube before Euro antitrust watchdog

Exclusive Independent music association Impala has disclosed to The Register a little more detail about its complaint to the EU competition authorities on YouTube's new music contracts. The trade group outlined five areas where it believes Google, which owns YouTube, breaches Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jun 2014
Yahoo search results refined

Yahoo!: Yes you, YouTube content-maker. GET IN MAH BELLY!

Yahoo! has put in a bid of $250m for YouTube content creator Fullscreen as it continues its policy of gobbling up firms to try to bolster its presence. The Purple Palace is in competition with existing shareholder The Chernin Group for the media company, Sky News reported. Chernin Group is an investment vehicle that was launched …
LG 77EC980V Ultra HD 4K OLED TV

What a whopper, LG: Feast your eyes on this 77-inch bendy TV

Pics LG gave the UK press its first gander at its world’s first curved 77-inch 4K OLED TV in London yesterday, choosing a live World Cup football match to show off its handiwork. Indeed, screening the beautiful game was somewhat fitting, given footballers will be among the few likely to afford its £19,999 price tag when it goes on …
Bob Dormon, 27 Jun 2014
Frodo and the One Ring

BBC: Bumpkins, hobbits need fairer coverage

The strange Hobbit-like creatures rumoured to populate the barren wasteland between Islington and the Cotswolds must be reported better by the BBC, a report for the BBC Trust has concluded. The report recommends the restoration of the post of a Rural Affairs Editor to find and interview the creatures, to discover how on earth …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jun 2014

MPAA, meet the Streisand effect: Picture ass. slaps Reddit with takedown

The Motion Picture Ass. of America has shot itself in the foot by issuing a copyright takedown notice against a corner of Reddit – and promptly turned a virtually unused subredit into a popular forum. The discussion board, /r/FullLengthFilms, is a place for Redditors to post links to films available for streaming or download, …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jun 2014
Roku Streaming Stick

WORLD CUP TRAUMA? Just Streaming Stick a Roku in it

Review If you share telly viewing with a masochistic soccer fan, you might well be tempted to consider alternative goggle box entertainment... er, Wimbledon perhaps? At least Blighty's entrant into the southwest London tennis competition stands a chance of winning – having prevailed last year. There’s more to telly than sport, though, …
Bob Dormon, 26 Jun 2014
Felix Dennis, MD of Dennis Publishing

Farewell Felix Dennis, deal-maker supreme of tech publishing

Obituary There's quite a bit that comes to mind when you think about Felix Dennis: the Oz mag obscenity trial, Maxim, drugs, women and dodgy poetry… But we're not going to do these here - at least, not yet. Felix Dennis, who died last weekend aged 67, was a pivotal figure in tech publishing: a super-smart dealmaker whose judgment and …
John Lettice, 26 Jun 2014
Google protest at Moscone Center

Occupy Google: Protesters attack ad giant as I/O gets underway

Google's I/O dev conference is traditionally a time when the company basks in the love of its community: but some other Bay Area residents have been making their displeasure with the Chocolate Factory known in a very vocal fashion. Occupy Google protestors "Give me a G..." A group working under the hashtag Occupy Google …
LIDL's soft toy showing circular saw blades

Aaah, what's that smell, Nook? Yes, it's death: Barnes & Noble to jettison e-book biz

Barnes & Noble has announced plans to spin off its floundering Nook e-book business as its revenues continue their long decline. On Wednesday, the bookseller reported retail revenues of $956m for the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2014, more or less flat from the year-ago quarter. Meanwhile, revenues from the Nook division were …
Neil McAllister, 25 Jun 2014
Supreme Court Building

US Supremes just blew Aereo out of the water

The US Supreme Court has ruled against TV-streaming biz Aereo in its copyright case with US broadcasters. The 6-3 opinion (PDF) upholds a lower court ruling that found the company in violation of US copyright law. Aereo essentially has data centers in ten US cities, each fitted with miniature antennas and hardware that pick up …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jun 2014

Apple wins patent to pump ads to your iDevice while you're watching TV

Apple has been granted a patent for a "second screen" scheme for providing associated content – ads, info, and the like – to a secondary device such as a smartphone or tablet when you're viewing content on your primary display, e.g. your big-screen TV. Apple patent illustration for 'System and method for delivering companion …
Rik Myslewski, 24 Jun 2014

REVEALED: Google's proposed indie music-killing contract terms

A leaked version of one of YouTube's controversial secret contracts with independent record labels has been published for the first time - and it appears to be stuffed with clauses that could land Google in trouble. Google wants to launch a new Spotify-style streaming service under its YouTube brand, and so requires music labels …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jun 2014
Game of Thrones Season One Blu-ray disc set

AT&T plays Game of Thrones: Every bit as ruthless as HBO version

Comment There is that great promotional line in the first season of Game of Thrones which goes, “In the game of thrones, you either win or you die.” Well, it applies just as much to the Game of the ever-converging, ever-thrilling US telecommunications and network market. With the news this week leaking out that Softbank has more or less …
Faultline, 23 Jun 2014
Photo by Hugo Glendinning: Ibsen's Ghosts – Almeida Theatre Production

For one night only – Ibsen classic gets the Dolby Atmos treatment

The last time I sat in Dolby’s private Atmos theatre in London, I was treated to the audiovisual feast that is X-Men: Days of Future Past. This time around, the production values are very different. Photo by Hugo Glendinning: Ibsen's Ghosts – Almeida Theatre Production Lesley Manville (Helene Alving) and Jack Lowden (Oswald …
Bob Dormon, 23 Jun 2014

YouTube in shock indie music nuke: We all feel a little less worthy today

Comment Yet another argument has brewed up between independent record companies and a wholesale customer, in this case YouTube. The accusation, that YouTube had given the major labels better terms than they were offering indies, was wearyingly familiar; as was YouTube’s reported response. That response was an offer of “take it or leave …
Paul Sanders, 23 Jun 2014
HbbTV logo large

Rejoice, Australia! SBS trials SOCCER AND SEX on ONE SCREEN tech

Australian broadcaster SBS, which during the 2014 FIFA World Cup ran a movie promo called “Sex Before Soccer”*, has quietly launched an HbbTV beta to the tiny handful of viewers that have suitable TVs. HbbTV – Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV – lets people with suitably-equipped Internet-connected TVs or set-top-boxes navigate …
eworld

20 years on: eWorld, Apple's spectacular online 'portal' failure

On June 20, 1994, Apple launched eWorld. The ambitious project sought to link Mac owners into an online community, connecting with one another and the Cupertinian mothership. Less than two years later, the project was dead. Customers were handed over to America Online and the plug was pulled at midnight on March 31, 1996. In …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jun 2014