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Disney and chums halt Comcast-TWC, AT&T-DirecTV weddings

US watchdog the FCC has hit the brakes while scrutinizing the proposed mergers of Comcast-Time Warner, and AT&T-DirecTV. On Wednesday, the comms industry monitor said [PDF] that its comment and review processes for the pair of mergers would be put on hold following pressure to publish the cable companies' contracts with TV …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Oct 2014

How to get $542m from Google: Dress as a SPACEMAN with dayglo dancers – Magic Leap

Vid Google and A-list venture capitalists have given more than half a billion dollars to Magic Leap, a mysterious startup that aims to "make computing more natural". Magic Leap Magic Leap ... your guess is as good as ours Magic Leap is based down in Florida, and has no products, revenue, or public business plan, as far as we can …
Iain Thomson, 21 Oct 2014
Lego Pirate Captain

YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results

Advert slinger Google has said it's started burying websites that help people illegally download copyrighted stuff. The web giant claimed today it sinks pro-piracy sites way down its search results – yes, beyond page two, the grim wastelands of the web. It's hoped this may dissuade people from seeking out pirated movies, games, …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Oct 2014

ISPs handbagged: BLOCK knock-off sites, rules beak

The UK's biggest ISPs must block websites that flog knock-off goods, after a successful High Court case brought by luxury goods firm Richemonte, the first time trademark pirates have been blocked in the EU. Richemonte, Swiss-based holding company for brands including Cartier (watches), Alfred Dunhill, and Montblanc wanted six …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Oct 2014
Walter Isaacson, The Innovators book cover

Steve Jobs' bio man tackles geeks who 'created the digital revolution'

Page File This is an enthralling but slightly flawed read written by Walter Isaacson – of Steve Jobs' authorised biography fame. Computers first entered human consciousness just over 170 years ago, when Charles Babbage was working on his mechanical difference engine and Ada Lovelace described programming. Since that seminal time, the …
Chris Mellor, 19 Oct 2014
The tiny TARDIS in Flatline

Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots

TV Review El Reg's resident Doctor Who fans – Brid-Aine Parnell, Gavin Clarke and Jennifer Baker – have come together to discuss the plot of tonight's episode, Flatline. Please note: THIS IS A POST-UK-BROADCAST REVIEW – THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! Brid-Aine says: Well, that didn’t last long. Rather than having the whole Danny/Doctor/Clara …
Edward Snowden

Citizenfour: Poitras' doco is about NSA and GCHQ – NOT Snowden

Review There is no subtlety in the political stance of Laura Poitras, which makes Citizenfour a completely one-sided documentary. Yet oddly enough, this bias doesn’t detract from the power of the film that covers a week in a Hong Kong hotel bedroom, during which Edward Snowden reveals himself and the extent of the NSA’s cyber- …
Neil Young at Farm Aid 1985

Weekend reads: Neil Young and Brian Cox ponder cars and universe (in that order)

Page File Phil Strongman joins El Reg bookworm Mark Diston to review the pick of publishing this week. Neil Young's second autobiography is more, much more than cars and girls, while the nation's omnipresent telly scientist Brian Cox offers insights to our origins. Also, James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton team up for the first time for a …
Use google.com button

SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links

The BBC will publish a summary of articles removed from Google search rankings under the infamous "right to be forgotten" rules. At a public meeting, the Beeb's editorial policy chief, David Jordan, said the public also had a "right to remember". A ruling by the European Court of Justice in May ordered Google to remove links …
Jasper Hamill, 17 Oct 2014
Screenshot of Twitter outage error message

#Help. There's a STRANGER in my Twitter timeline

Twitter has admitted to fiddling with users' timelines, sparking the sort of social media backlash which is fast becoming a wearying fixture of modern life. The chirpy chaps of Twitter claimed the "spirit of experimentation" made them decide to wodge unwanted tweets in users' feeds. Seeing stuff from people you don't follow …
Jasper Hamill, 17 Oct 2014

EU Competition chief: So what if I didn't tame Google? You're all 'irrational' anyway

Analysis Europe’s unelected competition czar has signed off with a sour burp aimed at his elected critics in Parliament. "I don't think antitrust investigations should be part of the conventional political debates," Joaquín Almunia complains in the Wall Street Journal. He was quizzed on his failure to deal with Google, a case which …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Oct 2014
Game of Thrones Season One Blu-ray disc set

HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'

HBO this week has finally done as Netflix said it would, admitting that it WILL provide over-the-top (OTT) streaming content to the masses in the United States. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings predicted back in May 2013 that HBO would need to make this move soon, claiming it was inevitable. When in future we teach technology history …
Faultline, 17 Oct 2014
Banksy HMV dog Nipper with bazooka

Banksy puts down spray can, goes corporate in banksy.com cybersquat brouhaha

Street artist Banksy has gone corporate, using a trademark of his name to try to win control of the Banksy.com domain. A formal complaint has been sent to domain arbitrator WIPO by Banksy’s “authentication” company Pest Control Office, which now, it seems, has moved into trademark enforcement. WIPO will decide in case D2014- …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Oct 2014
TomTom Top Gear satnav

Auntie hires API firm to manage new online BBC Store

API company Apigee has been brought in to pull together all the suppliers of BBC Worldwide’s "direct-to-consumer retail platform". The software will be used as a traffic manager. In the world of inclined playing fields, little beats your TV licence fee going towards setting up an online store to compete with online stores that …
Simon Rockman, 16 Oct 2014
Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden documentary premieres across the UK

Laura Poitras’ documentary about rogue NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden and the leaks detailing the agency's surveillance will premier in the UK this Friday as part of the London Film Festival. Youtube Video Citizenfour, named for Snowden's sign-off on his emails to Poitras, will be shown in Curzon Cinemas in London and around 70 …

Batman in the frame to take on Steve Jobs

Pub trivia fans take note: in the near future you might be asked to explain the link between President Josiah Bartlett, Batman, Steve Jobs, Trainspotting, Facebook and the London Olympics opening ceremony. Start your answer with actor Christian Bale, who played Batman in The Dark Knight trilogy. According to Variety, Bale's in …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Oct 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Speaking in Tech: Hey Satya. Have YOU relied on karma in YOUR career?

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise It's another episode of The Reg's best and only weekly podcast – with your hosts Greg Knieriemen, Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela. This week it's just the three amigos stirring it up, discussing what seems to be trend in the industry towards corporate breakups and super-mergers …
Team Register, 15 Oct 2014

Microsoft left red-faced after DMCAs dished out to Windows bloggers

Microsoft has sparked fury among the faithful following a DMCA takedown trawl that snared innocent Windows bloggers. The company was put on the defensive and forced to apologise after loyal podcasters and video bloggers received takedown warnings and had their YouTube accounts suspended for claimed copyright infringement of …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Oct 2014

Virgin Media DOUBLE-PUNCHED by BSkyB AND BT over ad fibs

Virgin Media has been placed on the naughty step by the UK's advertising watchdog following two separate complaints from rival telcos BSkyB and BT. The cable company was berated by BSkyB for misleadingly implying that Sky Sports had been included in Virgin Media's advertised price for its "Big Kahuna Bundle". Broadcasting giant …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Oct 2014
Screenshot from the Facebook video Q&A with U2

Bono apologises for iTunes album dump

Bono has apologised for sending U2's latest album into every iTunes library in the world. The singer's apology came, ironically, in a video to promote the album to those who didn't get it for free in iTunes. That video, posted to Facebook features a Q&A session in which a fan asked U2 never to release an auto-downloading album …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Oct 2014
Skype iPad

Qik as mud: Skype adds self-destructing video messages years too late

Apps to record and share short video messages are ten a penny – and now Microsoft has thrown its hat into the ring with Qik, an app that came along with its Skype purchase. "A small team of Skype designers and developers recently took up the challenge to build a new app to run alongside Skype and provide an ongoing form of video …
Iain Thomson, 14 Oct 2014

Julian Assange discovers Google's given MONEY to EFF

+Comment Silicon Valley’s biggest companies are an essential part of both the US state’s data-processing operation and a barely controllable element in American foreign policy, says WikiLeaks fugitive Julian Assange in his latest interview. Talking to Pando Daily (from the Ecuadorian embassy in London), Assange dubs Google, Facebook and …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Oct 2014

Radiohead(ache): BBC wants dead duck tech in sexy new mobes

The UK government is supporting a push by broadcasters — including, notably, the BBC — to put DAB into new smartphones. Communications Minister Ed Vaizey will back the Universal Smartphone Radio Project initiative, also known as RadioDNS or Hybrid Radio, in a speech today, the Telegraph reports. Much of the initiative is …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Oct 2014
EE 4G banner

EE TV brings French broadband price war to the UK

While Vodafone is no stranger to TV in its territories and last week added the Netherlands to other locations where it offers TV, such as Spain and Germany, the move by EE in the UK seems a far more serious one. It is an offer that bundles free TV with a broadband order, just like the four French Telcos – Orange, Free, SFR and …
Faultline, 13 Oct 2014

10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register

Rant So. You're a PR. Your boss, client, giant David Icke-style lizard or whatever it is you people have in charge of you, has ordered you to telephone The Register. Here's a handy list of things for you to consider before you do that. Do not EVER call us to ask whether we read your email. If you feel the need to ask the question …
Gareth Corfield, 12 Oct 2014
Selena Kyle

Gotham gets the Smallville treatment with Jim Gordon in lead role

TV Review There’s something painfully earnest about American-made TV pilots, as they shoe-horn so many of the upcoming season’s characters into a meagre 40 or so minutes that hardly anyone gets to say a word. The whole process of basically begging one of the big TV houses to give you the money to craft the few nuggets of golden (or at …
Mummy on the Orient Express

Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express

TV Review THIS IS A POST-UK-BROADCAST REVIEW – THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! Brid-Aine says: Finally, someone has remembered that Doctor Who is supposed to be fun and that someone is James Mathieson, guest writer of Mummy on the Orient Express. It has to be said that neither that title nor the trailer last week filled me with great hopes for …
Regina Egbert, El Reg's virtual news anchor

CAW! Vulture's news highlights - all in one smooth, egg-shaped vid

Get the week's top tech news delivered in eggspert-style by Vulture's news anchor Regina Eggbert. Egg...sackly... You can get more on the stories, including the lowdown on HP's split, UK.gov's £150bn two base station cash-spaff and Google and co's attempt to end NSA snooping before it BREAKS the internet.... here, here and here …
News team, 11 Oct 2014
Doctor Who on Kill The Moon

'Utter killjoy Reg hacks have NEVER BEEN LAID', writes a fan

Last week’s Doctor Who review of Kill The Moon certainly sparked some strong opinions. On Twitter, there were those who couldn’t agree more: Preach it #doctorwho http://t.co/HE7rdFEgFG — ℓilliane (@MakeItLast) October 5, 2014 . @TheRegister reviews the rather un-Physicsy #DoctorWho ep http://t.co/hjzMImzqqz — Stephen …
SexPistols 1975

Weekend reads: So, Anyway..., Anger is an Energy and Smoke Gets in your Eyes

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston reviews the latest tantalising tomes. There's a battle of the autobiographies going on, with comic genius John Cleese up against music's enfant terrible John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten – we'll see who gets the last laugh here. We've also a surprisingly entertaining insight on the life of a mortician, …
Mark Diston, 11 Oct 2014
Muscular man stripping off his shirt

Slap for SnapChat web app in SNAP mishap: '200,000' snaps sapped

Tens of thousands of stolen private SnapChat photos and vids are being plastered across the internet for perverts to download and ogle, it's claimed. SnapChat says it isn't to blame. When word spread on 4chan's notorious /b/ board that someone had allegedly swiped as many as 200,000 SnapChat files from strangers, it was feared …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Oct 2014
Panasonic Viera TX-P42GT30

EU waves remote at Liberty Global's Dutch telly takeover

Liberty Global must sell its Dutch premium pay-TV movie channel Film1 if it wants to take over cable telly operator Ziggo, Brussels' antitrust chief has warned. Since the planned buyout will bring together the first and second largest cable television networks in The Netherlands, the European Union’s competition commissioner …
Jennifer Baker, 10 Oct 2014
ipod u2 edition

U2? 81 million Apple iThing-strokers know a place where the Beats have no shame

Some might say that being on the cover of Vogue is pretty cool. But when Apple foisted U2's latest album on 81 million innocent people? Quite the opposite. Apple has told the music bible Billboard that some 81 million people took the chance to "experience" Songs Of Innocence, with 26 million downloading the thing in its entirety …
Jasper Hamill, 10 Oct 2014
Oculus Rift VR system prototype

Audio playground: How does an Oculus Rift with surround sound sound?

Wi-Fi music streaming and virtual reality both just received audio boosts, with news from Bose, DTS and Oculus. Bose has done a music streaming supply deal, like Sonos, with Deezer, but for Deezer's Premium Plus service, not the higher-rated lossless Elite service Sonos is involved with. It's a US region-specific deal and marks …
Chris Mellor, 9 Oct 2014
Costumed pirate

Economics prof denies digital pirates plundered €20bn from EU coffers

A European academic has rubbished claims by the Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) group that digital piracy cost the EU more than €20bn between 2008 and 2011. Making the assumption that the creative and service sectors performed at the same level, a grand total of around one million jobs and €47bn of …

EE TV: Network snubs 'Auntie's antique' for mobe-happy set-top box

Updated EE is launching a multi-device TV catchup rival to BT, TalkTalk and BSkyB. But it's snubbing both YouView, a BBC-originated TV platform designed for UK catchup-over-broadband operators, and Freeview Connect, the would-be YouView killer. The new service will be free to EE fixed broadband customers – but will cost £9.99 for mobile …

Adobe spies on reading habits over unencrypted web because your 'privacy is important'

Adobe confirmed its Digital Editions software insecurely phones home your ebook reading history to Adobe – to thwart piracy. And the company insisted the secret snooping is covered in its terms and conditions. Version 4 of the application makes a note of every page read, and when, in the digital tomes it accesses, and then …
Iain Thomson, 8 Oct 2014

Adobe spies on readers: 'EVERY page you turn, EVERY book you own' leaked back to base

Updated Adobe's Digital Editions 4 ebook reader software collects detailed information about the reading habits of its users – and sends it back to the company in a format that's easy for others to slurp. An investigation by Nate Hoffelder of The Digital Reader blog showed that ADE 4 was collecting telemetry on which pages of ebooks …
Iain Thomson, 7 Oct 2014

Revenge smut bullies who send 'grossly offensive' messages WILL be prosecuted

Prosecutors in England and Wales now have access to revised legal guidelines to help them tackle the online bullying stunt popularly dubbed "revenge porn". An update to existing advice on communications sent on social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, was announced by the Crown Prosecution Service on Monday. Current …
Kelly Fiveash, 7 Oct 2014

EU's super-commish for tech: Geo-blocks on cat vids, music – NOT FAIR

Andrus Ansip, the new EU super-commissioner for all things digital, says he will work to completely abolish geo-blocking of media in Europe – and urged telcos to get on with pushing out high-speed mobile broadband. What started out as a relatively boring and predictable hearing before the European Parliament on Monday took a …

'Cops and public bodies BUNGLE snooping powers by spying on 3,000 law-abiding Brits'

Thousands of innocent Brits have reportedly been mistakenly snooped on by UK police and public bodies. That claim, which involved nearly 3,000 citizens, was made in a Times report (£) on Saturday. It was alleged that "Authorities routinely use sweeping legal powers to collect phone and internet records secretly". And there are …
Kelly Fiveash, 5 Oct 2014

Steve Jobs makes world a better place FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE

Apple chief Tim Cook sent an email to staffers on Friday, in which he reminded them all of the greatness of Steve Jobs – who has been dead three years today. It comes after Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt took a swipe at the fruity führer on Thursday for supposedly getting it wrong about the ad and search giant's …
Team Register, 5 Oct 2014