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Incantations used to summon Magic Quadrants revealed

Analyst firm Gartner has lifted its skirts and explained a little more about how it compiles its controversial Magic Quadrants. The explanation comes in the form of a post offering advice to those about to bid for a spot on the infrastructure-as-a-service and hosting quadrant. Here's how the research process unfolds: You get …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Feb 2014
Handshake

With $100m+ buyout deal, Klout is suddenly popular again

Klout, the startup that claims to be able to measure users' influence on social media sites, has just gained a whole lot more influence of its own – at least $100m worth. Re/Code reports that Klout has been acquired by "social customer experience" company Lithium Technologies in a cash-and-stock deal valued "in the low nine …
Neil McAllister, 11 Feb 2014
Humax YouView DTR-T1000 IPTV Freeview DVR

BBC, ITV gang up on YouView with 'FreeView Connect'

The BBC and ITV look set to cut YouView adrift, backing a new TV distribution platform they've developed called FreeView Connect. This has long been rumoured in the UK industry, and now Digital UK – which is backed by the two channels together with Channel 4 and Arqiva – has confirmed they're looking at it. According to …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Feb 2014
Lego Minecraft

Minecraft developer kills Kickstarted Minecraft movie

Gaming rock star Notch, the man behind the childhood-devouring mega-smash Minecraft, has pulled the plug on a fan movie based on the game. The film, titled “Birth of Man” was to be crowdfunded. A Kickstarter begging page started off well enough, gathering a little over ten per cent of its $US600,000 goal. But things went …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Feb 2014
Larry Ellison and Cobra

Snowden saga scares Oracle away from spy-flick sponsorship

The ongoing tensions between the government and private sectors over Edward Snowden's document leaks has reportedly pushed Oracle to cancel a high-profile film placement deal. Citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, The Financial Times claims that Oracle first made, then sought a way out of, a product-placement deal in …
Shaun Nichols, 7 Feb 2014
Marvel Comics

KA-BLAM!! Marvel Comics opens super-powered data API to web devs

Comic-book giant Marvel Entertainment has built a huge database stuffed with information about its characters, comics, and creative talent throughout its more than 70-year publishing history, and now it wants to see what independent developers can do with it. The company behind Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Avengers, the Hulk, and …
Sony PRS-505

Sony to close North American ebook store, punt customers to Kobo

Struggling Sony has announced that it is quitting the ebook-selling business in the US and Canada and will instead rely on Kobo to supply content for its ereader devices in North America from now on. "Sony's Reader Store customers and their current eBook libraries will transfer to the Kobo ecosystem starting in late March," the …
Fawlty Towers

Apple cash stash dash results in Icahn v CalPERS bitchfight

Activist investor Carl Icahn has gone to war with the pensioners of California over his bid to get his grubby mitts on Apple's mammoth money pot. The moneyman wants Apple to launch a $50bn share buyback, which would give shareholders a profitable but brief payday. But the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS …
Jasper Hamill, 6 Feb 2014
Jean Michel Jarre performs (green lasers in background). Photo by Daniele Dalledonne

Jean Michel Jarre: Je voudrais un MUSIC TAX sur VOTRE MOBE

Smartphone owners should pay hundreds of dollars to the music industry, wrinkly French synth twiddler Jean Michel Jarre has said. Without the ability to play music, Jarre argued, the gadget wouldn't be worth as much as it currently is. “We should never forget that in the smartphone, the smart part is us creators,” Jarre told …

Facebook turns 10: Big Brother isn't Mark Zuckerberg. It's YOU

Comment Facebook turns 10 this month, which means a bombardment of anniversary pieces lauding the social network. This blabbergasm will stress how Facebook “changed everything” and speculate on how “unimaginable" life might be without Facebook. But Mark Zuckerberg’s greatest achievement isn't financial or technical. Facebook has turned …
Spicerex says roar

Spiceworks scoops $57m in 'last funding round before IPO'

Spiceworks, the Texas-based web-2.0 platform for sysadmins, has announced that it has closed a $57 million round of funding - which it expects to be its last before an IPO. The funding is led by Goldman Sachs and brings the total amount raised by the company to $111 million. In exchange for the cash splash, Goldman Sachs gets …
Trevor Pott, 4 Feb 2014

Dejected NFL fans seek smut after Super Bowl blowout

A lopsided score in last night's Super Bowl kicked off a sudden spike in traffic as users sought alternative methods of entertainment in the later stages of the game. According to adult video site Pornhub, traffic levels in much of the country fluctuated with the outcome of the game, dropping sharply in the early minutes then …
Shaun Nichols, 4 Feb 2014

Apple marks '1984' anniversary with iPhone-produced un-commercial

Three decades after launching one of the most famous ad spots in TV history, Apple has marked the anniversary of its 1984 Super Bowl commercial with a quietly subversive effort that once again pits the company against a perceived status quo in the industry. The company on Sunday released "1.24.14", a short film advertisement …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Feb 2014

Apple seeks patent for mood-sensing technology

Apple is seeking a patent on something it calls “Inferring user mood based on user and group characteristic data” that its application says would figure out how you are feeling and “... then deliver content that is selected, at least in part, based on the inferred mood.” The patent application observes that “While the …
Apple advertises the first Mac

MAC TO THE FUTURE: 30 years of hindsight and smart-arsery

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Christian schoolchildren who pay attention during Religious Education classes will at some point independently wonder why there are more Commandments than Deadly Sins. Keep your Commandments – why are there only seven naughty things to do in one’s life? Even by the age of 12, most youngsters could invent plenty more juicy sins …
Alistair Dabbs, 31 Jan 2014
Mars jelly doughnut

'I had a rare Twitter handle... I was extorted into giving it up'

Quotw This was the week when a developer was blackmailed out of a rare, single-letter Twitter handle by a hacker who claims to have social-engineered their way into his life through GoDaddy and PayPal. Naoki Hiroshima, once the proud owner of the Twitter account @N, said he was forced to give up the account to a hacker who had gained …
troll

Judge: Google owes patent troll a 1.36% cut of AdWords' BEELLIONS

Patent-holding company Vringo has won a legal victory against Google that could net it hundreds of millions of dollars per year in ongoing royalties from the Chocolate Factory's AdWords online advertising system. According to court documents [PDF] obtained by The Register, Judge Raymond Jackson of the US District Court of the …
Neil McAllister, 29 Jan 2014
Video

We're on the same wavelength! TV stars cosy up to flog spare Hz

A pair of TV stations in Los Angeles, California, will squeeze into the same frequency band in a test that clear the way for better wireless broadband. KLCS and KJLA have agreed to share a single over-the-air stream to broadcast standard-definition and HD video, freeing up spectrum space in the process. If that works out, it …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jan 2014
Google Chocolate Factory

Google close to inking search biz deal with Brussels: report

Google is reportedly edging closer to scoring a settlement deal with competition officials in Brussels regarding the ad giant's alleged abuse of its dominance in the European search market. According to Reuters, Google has submitted a "much better" revised package of concessions to the European Commission's anti-trust chief …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Jan 2014
Delia Derbyshire tweaks a Jason oscillator

BBC Trust: 'LA LA LA I'M NOT LISTENING' to this DMI mega-tech FAIL

The BBC failed to heed warnings given as early as 2010 that its Digital Media Initiative uber-project was vague and getting nowhere - according to the National Audit Office, which published its investigation into the disaster today. Executives at the Beeb's finance committee, its executive committee and the BBC Trust all …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jan 2014
Peter Capaldi as Dr Who. Credit: BBC

New Doctor Who's new costume newly REVEALED by Beeb

The BBC has taunted bereft Doctor Who fans with the first images of their new Doctor, Peter Capaldi, in costume. Peter Capaldi in costume as Doctor Who El Reg won't hazard a guess as to how much Crombie and Doc Marten paid to be mentioned by name in the teaser, but while the new Doctor's dark blue trousers and white shirt are …

A BBC-by-subscription 'would be richer', MPs told

Analysis Could the BBC be better off if it raised money through subscriptions? Last week Westminster heard that the BBC had modelled precisely this scenario and found that it would be richer than it is today. It just didn't want to tell you. And in a strange alignment of interests, the BBC's pay-for rivals don't want you to know either …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jan 2014

UK.gov to Google: Kill impostor taxmen ADs hogging top spot in YOUR search results

Google is to be told by the UK government to weaken the threats posed by copycat websites that offer tax return services to unsuspecting Brits, presumably by getting the ad giant to push the links off its first page of search results. Tory backbencher David Davis asked the Treasury, in a parliamentary question, if it would be …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Jan 2014
Brando wooden cross Flash drive

The internet is 'a gift from God' says Pope Francis

Pope Francis has shared his thoughts about the Internet, declaring it a wonderful thing but also expressing worries that it impair human relationships and inflict a kind of commercial violence on users. Francis' thoughts are published here under the title “"Communication at the Service of an Authentic Culture of Encounter" - …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Jan 2014

Google, Netflix ready next weapon in net neutrality battle: The fury of millions

Comment As the future of net neutrality hangs in the balance, Google and Netflix have this week decided that offense is the best defense. The two web kingpins are preparing to rally millions of netizens to their cause, namely that their internet traffic should be free to flow unmolested by broadband providers. It comes as Verizon won a …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jan 2014
Facebook

Facebook will LOSE 80% of its users by 2017 – epidemiological study

The internet has seized with glee on a Princeton research paper that suggests Facebook will be a virtually abandoned, tumbleweed-riddled corner of the web by 2017, when the social network's "outbreak" will have run its course. Princeton PhD students Joshua Spechler and Johan Cannarella used epidemiological modelling, …

TiVo: Yes we've axed staff, but we're NOT packing in hardware biz

TiVo is shuffling its playing cards as it prepares to shift its strategy somewhat towards the cloud - however the set-top maker has flatly denied claims that it is retreating from the hardware business. The company's chief flack, Steve Wymer, told The Verge that it was wrong to suggest that a number of recent layoffs at TiVo, …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Jan 2014
Derisive laugh

'Netflix bitch': CEO of vid-streaming site taunts HBO chief over results

Over-the-top video streamer Netflix finished the year with over 43 million subscribers, almost all of whom pay, the company reported yesterday. Netflix recorded revenue of $1.1bn in Q4 2013, including its legacy DVD-by-post business, and a slender net income of $48m. It's still going for growth, though, with 10.93 million …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Jan 2014
The Sun's 360 degree view of Wembley. Pic: Jeffrey Martin, 360Cities.net

Treat yourself to some FA, NFL or 1D action at Wembley Stadium

Promo Clients are a fickle lot, but most would leap at the chance to see the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium. Or a big pop concert. No? Maybe a NFL game could tickle their fancy. The Register is a media partner of Wembley Stadium and this is our promo. Here is a great chance to reward your valued customers – or indeed yourself. …
David Gordon, 23 Jan 2014
Candy Crush Saga

Candy Crush dev stuffs EU 'candy' trademark down gob

Updated The company behind the wildly successful Candy Crush Saga mobile games franchise already has its mitts on the European trademark for the word "candy" and is now awaiting approval for its application for the same thing in the US. "We have trademarked the word 'CANDY' in the EU, as our IP is constantly being infringed and we have …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jan 2014
Xbox One and chum

Wow, gamers on YouTube really love the Xbox One. It's like they were paid to say that (Hint: they are)

Updated Microsoft has admitted it promised to slip hard coin to gamers who upload favorable reviews of its Xbox One console to YouTube. So-called "influencers" who talk up the new gear via the Machinima channel are promised $3 per 1,000 views of their footage, up to a maximum of 1,250,000 global views or $3,750. The offer was revealed …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jan 2014

MPAA spots a Google Glass guy in cinema, calls HOMELAND SECURITY

An Ohio man is crying foul after he was detained and interrogated by the feds – because he wore a Google Glass headset in a movie theater. The bloke, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he was pulled from a screening of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit at the AMC Easton Town Center in Columbus by men who he claims identified …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jan 2014

So Dr Dre, Jimmy Iovine and Trent Reznor walk into a bar

Today finally sees the launch of the much-delayed and much-hyped anticipated Beats Music service in the USA. Its parentage alone assures the service plenty of attention: the lead UI designer is Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and it's a venture from the headphone manufacturer owned by producers Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine. The CEO …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Jan 2014

Intel offloads home-grown internet TV system to Verizon

Intel has managed to offload its pay-TV startup OnCue, after deciding last year it would rather sell it off than try to launch the service itself. Chipzilla's offshoot, now called Intel Media, has gone to Verizon Communications, the second-largest telco in the US, which plans to merge it into its existing internet telly offering …

Twitter WLTM UK-based pro lobbyist with GSOH - is ready for ads

As Twitter prepares to become an ad-stuffed free content network, the company is hiring a lobbyist for its UK office to "manage" public policy in Europe. It's the first such Blighty-based role advertised by the micro-blogging site and comes just months after Twitter floated on Wall Street. Responsibilities for the post include …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Jan 2014

Probe of Hollywood-Euro Pay TV contracts: What happens next?

Analysis By now the dust has settled on Monday’s statement by the European Commission that it will investigate the licensing agreements between the major US Hollywood studios and their European broadcasting counterparts, targeting the exclusive nature in any given European country. But what is the likely outcome? This is the kind of …
Faultline, 20 Jan 2014
Joanna Shields, former CEO of Tech City UK

Tech City UK boss legs it, dumps project in lap of BlackBerry exec

Joanna Shields has jacked in her £115,000 job as CEO of Tech City UK to join the London Stock Exchange Group. She will be replaced by Gerard Grech, who currently heads up global marketing at BlackBerry World. Shields was awarded an OBE last year for trying to turn Old Street Roundabout into a gleaming hub of tech …
Jasper Hamill, 17 Jan 2014

Cocky Spotify drops time limits on free listening, skint music-lovers cheer

As it promised to do before Christmas, Spotify has dropped restrictions on free listening with the celestial jukebox - but it's also removed restrictions on free desktop listening, too. Previously the service capped the number of hours you could listen to music without a subscription. That listening contained advertisments, of …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jan 2014
warehouse interior - wide aisle, big shelves

Amazon workers in Delaware reject trade union membership

A small number of Amazon warehouse workers in Delaware have voted against joining a union, which claims that the employees were under pressure from the firm to stay away from third-party representation. In a vote administered by the National Labour Relations Board (NLRB), the Amazon staff voted 21 to six against joining the …

Yahooligans! cower! as! COO! was! reportedly! SACKED! by! Mayer!

Yahoo! has refused to deny that its chief operating officer Henrique de Castro was sacked by the Purple Palace's boss Marissa Mayer. Kara Swisher reported on re/code, citing a leaked internal memo, that Mayer had in fact fired the web company's COO. Yahoo! revealed on Wednesday that de Castro would leave the biz today – having …
Kelly Fiveash, 16 Jan 2014
apple's 'intel inside' tv ad

Intel uncorks marketing syrup, pours over 16 cloud providers

Cloud computing has wrecked the carefully tended brands of tech infrastructure providers by smothering their dodgy logos in layers and layers of opaque software, and Intel is not content to let all that expensive marketing go to waste. Instead, the world's largest chip design company announced on Wednesday that it is slipping …
Jack Clark, 15 Jan 2014
Photograph 12

EU pulls out antitrust probe, prods Euro pay-TV contracts

The EU is launching an anti-competition probe of major Hollywood studios and Europe's biggest pay-TV networks over their exclusive licensing deals. The European Commission's antitrust division said it was looking into the territorially exclusive contracts to see if they stopped broadcasters from being able to offer their …