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Uber - living the dream

France says 'non' to UberPop

Uber has once again found itself running afoul of a government, this time in a form of a ban on the company's UberPop service in France. The New York Times reported that the nation has moved to kill off the controversial Uber ride-sharing service in France following pressure from professional taxi drivers and their industry …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Dec 2014
Santa Claus on his laptop

HORRIFIED Amazon retailers fear GOING BUST after 1p pricing cockup

UK businesses that rely on a third party pricing system on Amazon were hit by an hour-long software glitch on Friday night, with items being sold for just 1p. Some retailers complained that RepricerExpress's technical cockup, which happened between 7pm and 8pm on 12 December, could leave them bankrupt. A number of small …
Team Register, 14 Dec 2014
storm

This week it rained in San Francisco and the power immediately blew out. Your tech utopia

Opinion It's amazing what 12 hours of something can do. For Silicon Valley, and particularly San Francisco, half a day of heavyish rain that would be described "April, maybe early May," by many Scots Highlanders, has caused massive problems and highlighted again why the area is losing its edge. At about 0730 PT on Thursday, a blown …
Iain Thomson, 12 Dec 2014

Hinge: An app that scours Facebook friends for dates banks $12m

A dating app that uses your Facebook friends to make recommendations has scored $12m in series-A funding, bringing its total funding to $20.5m. Hinge hopes to compete with market leader Tinder by offering a better dating experience. Its unique selling point is that recommendations are friends-of-friends - the idea being that …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Dec 2014
gTLD graphic

Wanna buy a dot-word? If you want a .pizza the action, now's a chance

Roundup Everyone loves pizza. Even though the industry is responsible for cluttering millions of people's mailboxes with flyers, you'll still take a look and think about ordering one. Well, expect to see one minor change in those flyers from now on – the addition of new .pizza domain names – thanks to the launch of the internet registry …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Dec 2014

One-click, net-modelled UK copyright hub comes a step closer

Britain's experiment in "making copyright work like the internet" reached beta stage on Tuesday following a deal with a major picture library which gives developers half a million photos to work with. The non-profit, open source Copyright Hub is designed to bring about one-click licensing of relatively low-value digital works, …

Portland lobs fair-trade gluten-free artisan SUEBALL at Uber

The US city of Portland, Oregon, is suing taxi-booking app maker Uber for operating unlicensed cabs. Officials with the city's Board of Transportation said on Monday that it was going to court in order to enforce its regulations on for-hire car companies: for one thing, it's claimed Uber needs a license to run a taxi company in …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Dec 2014
Container meltdown

CONTAINER WARS: CoreOS blasts Rocket rival at Docker

CoreOS, the lightweight Linux distro based around Linux containers and Docker, will develop its own application container tech to compete against Docker. On Monday, CoreOS unveiled a prototype version of Rocket, a command-line tool for working with App Container, the company's home-brewed container image format, runtime, and …
Netgear ReadyNAS 314 (RN31400) 4-bay NAS box

Trevor contemplates Consumer Netgear gear. BUT does it pass the cat hair test?

Sysadmin blog Is consumer networking gear really crap? As technologists, we tend to have a chip on our shoulder about it because it can't do all the things the latest, greatest enterprise stuff can do, but does that really matter? The capabilities of consumer gear have been steadily increasing, and perhaps some of our ire is unwarranted. …
Trevor Pott, 30 Nov 2014
Uber logo

Uber bends over for internal privacy probe amid stalking claims

US Senator Al Franken (D-MN) has written to Uber demanding answers to questions about the car-hire upstart's interpretation of the word privacy. It comes after an Uber exec told a dinner in New York that he'd like to sic private detectives on journalists critical of the startup, and it's claimed staff at the company used a "God …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Nov 2014
Uncov chronicles the failure of Web 2.0

Blackpool hotel 'fines' couple £100 for crap TripAdvisor review

A British couple is fuming after a hotel reportedly charged them an extra £100 for leaving a damning TripAdvisor review. Tony and Jan Jenkinson spent one night at the Broadway Hotel in stunning Blackpool, were distinctly unimpressed with the experience, and wrote about it on travel reviews website TripAdvisor. But they had …
Iain Thomson, 19 Nov 2014
Fight sticker

Uber exec wanted to sic private dicks on critics ... Hey, Emil Michael, COME AT US, bro

Car hire upstart Uber has apologized after a top exec suggested hiring investigators to expose the personal lives of its critics. Senior veep of business Emil Michael said at a private dinner in New York City that Uber could blow "a million dollars" assembling a crack team of gumshoes and journalists to find dirt on the startup' …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Nov 2014

Deloitte builds sofa-and-slippers startup fund ... where's the fun in that?

Deloitte has taken a leap into the fast-moving, fail-often world of startup culture by developing a risk-free version of Silicon Valley. A charming anti-formula to the Bay Area's post-revenue darlings. The accountancy giant has put aside £25m ($39m) to fund new business ideas proposed by its own employees: the staffers get to …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Nov 2014
Hortonworks logo

Yahoo!-backed Hadoop biz Hortonworks flings itself at the stock market

Big data analytics firm Hortonworks filed paperwork with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday announcing its intent to go public, making it the first of the Hadoop startups to float an initial public offering. The filing didn't say how many shares Hortonworks plans to offer or at what price, but it estimated the …
Neil McAllister, 10 Nov 2014

Tinder swipes left on CEO Sean Rad, journalists swipe right

Comment Tinder CEO Sean Rad has been dumped by the dating app maker he helped found, although he'll keep his 10 per cent stake. Unusually, the details of the firing were revealed by the 28-year-old himself in a lengthy piece of blowjob journalism by Forbes, titled "The Crazy Saga of the World's Hottest App". In between learning about …
Corporate art of an armed Warrior-Alpha

Intel: A tiny video drone? Disguised as a BRACELET? Great! Take half a million dollars!

Vid Do you like drones? Do you like fashion? Do you want a drone that doubles as a fashion accessory? No? Well, too bad, because Intel has decided that the time is right for a quadcopter drone you bend and snap into an armband. The chip-baking goliath said it was awarding the $500,000 grand prize for its "Make it Wearable" contest …
Shaun Nichols, 4 Nov 2014
ello

Hello, Ello. Still no ads and no features to sell. What do? Bag $5.5m

Hipster-chic anti-Facebook wannabe Ello is today $5.5m richer, apparently – and hopes to silence critics of its no-ads manifesto with a renewed vow to never sell adverts nor user data. The social network upstart has declared itself a public benefit corporation with a statement never to plonk ads on its site or flog private …
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
Cloud security

Defence giant BAE coughs $230m for cloud heavy SilverSky

BAE Systems has bought cloud-based email and network security firm SilverSky for $232.5m, seemingly finding the US company's products and customer base irresistible. Ian King, chief executive, BAE Systems, said: "SilverSky has an established sales force, a complementary suite of scalable products and a large installed customer …
John Leyden, 21 Oct 2014

FedEx helps deliver THOUSANDS of spam messages DIRECT to its Blighty customers

Fed-up FedEx customers in the UK were hit by an email storm yesterday, after a sad sap at the delivery company mistakenly hit the reply-all button on a daily alerts mailing list. Inevitably, it was then besieged by jokers, spammers and idiots replying with the request to be removed from the list. Reg reader, Nick, who flagged …
Team Register, 21 Oct 2014

Whisper tracks its users. So we tracked down its LA office. This is what happened next

Pics We were surprised as anyone when The Guardian revealed that, far from being “the safest place on the internet”, the anonymous messaging app Whisper was tracking the location of its users – even when they specifically denied the app access to their location. Worse, if someone's posts were deemed newsworthy, according to The …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 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
Uber logo

Let down by a lousy UberX driver? They probably skipped the 'optional $65 customer service training course'

Amid complaints about some badly behaving drivers, you may not be surprised to hear that Uber's training course for cabbies is not only optional – it costs them $65 each to sit through it, apparently. A Forbes blog post claims the taxi app maker's bargain-basement UberX service charges drivers to take a class on providing good …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Oct 2014
European Union Flag

EU privacy boogeyman unleashed by the very people with boogeyman-slaying weapons

Another day, another report scaremongering about Europe’s big reforms for laws that protect people's personal information. According to a fresh piece of research from Kroll Ontrack and Blancco – experts in data recovery and erasure respectively – 81 per cent of European IT managers surveyed are unfamiliar with the proposed new …
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 …

Speaking in Tech: Startup funding – a little wine, dim lights, et voilà ... seed capital!

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise This week, Speaking in Tech regular Greg Knieriemen has fled the country, leaving the ever-capable Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela to host our weekly tech-cast. Today's episode was recorded at Spiceworld with special guests Scott Abel, co-founder and CEO of Spiceworks, and David …
Team Register, 8 Oct 2014
The extinct golden toad of the Monteverde cloud forests. Credit: US Fish & Wildlife Service

Dot-gay told it's NOT gay enough – but web'll be officially .eco-friendly

A slew of decisions over who gets to run new internet extensions have been handed down, meaning that within months domain names ending in "radio", "eco", "hotel" and "Osaka" will start appearing online. Those four were the lucky ones out of a group of 17 applications that asked for a "community evaluation" of their bids to …
Soylent

Take THAT, hated food! It's OVER, tedious chewing! Soylent strikes back with version 1.1

Soylent, the venture-funded startup that promises to free humanity from the hated burden of eating, has updated the formula of its mail-order nutrient gloop. "We have made two changes to the 1.0 formula, resulting in a food with greater neutrality and digestibility (as indicated by preliminary tests)," the company proclaimed in …
Disney's Beagle Boys

JPMorgan Chase: 76 MILLION homes, 7 MILLION small biz thumped in cyber-heist

Mega-bank JPMorgan Chase has admitted to suffering a major data breach that has been rumored since August, saying that as many as 76 million households and 7 million small businesses have been affected. The bank, which has never discussed the breach publicly before, made the disclosure in a filing with the US Securities and …
Uber logo

Super Cali so litigious, Uber is the focus. Even German judges say it's something quite atrocious

Taxi biz Uber perhaps can't wait to put this week in its rearview mirror – after it was dealt legal setbacks in four major cities: two in Germany, and two in California. In August, officials in Berlin and Hamburg decided that Uber should not operate in the two cities due to safety concerns and worries about unfair competition …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Sep 2014
Marc Andreessen

Bubble 2.0? Moneybags VC Andreessen warns profit-free startups: 'You will be VAPORIZED'

When it comes to the internet age, Marc Andreessen was in there right from the start. Now, when he talks, people listen. So when the geek-turned-venture-capitalist today warned there'll soon be a bloodbath unless startups start making bank, we imagine there were a few spilled soy lattes in the Valley. Andreessen took to Twitter …
Iain Thomson, 26 Sep 2014
Admiral Ackbar

Google to startup kids: Pssst, try our CLOUD ... the first $100K is FREE

Google is offering startups a cool $100,000 in credit if they're willing to power their apps using the Chocolate Factory's cloud services, rather than the competition's. The online advertising giant launched the new program, dubbed Google Cloud Platform for Startups, at its Google for Entrepreneurs Partner Summit in Mountain …
Neil McAllister, 12 Sep 2014
Star Trek Into Darkness

Next blockbuster you watch could be rendered on Google: Star Trek fx biz Zync gobbled

Google has confirmed its gobble of Zync, a cloud-based special effects rendering service. "Creating amazing special effects requires a skilled team of visual artists and designers, backed by a highly powerful infrastructure to render scenes. Many studios, however, don’t have the resources or desire to create an in-house …
Iain Thomson, 26 Aug 2014
closed_sign shut down under collapsed liquidation

Akamai warns: SMB security remains major risk

Security offerings for small businesses need to look more like those offered to enterprises, according to Akamai global security senior director Fran Trentley. Speaking to The Register while in Sydney for the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit, Trentley said SMBs are increasingly seen as attack targets, and that poses a …
Photo of a stack of $100 bills

Amazon Twitch snatch catches Google the gobbler off guard

Amazon has confirmed its purchase of Twitch, the pose-streaming startup beloved of gamers, in a $970m deal which appears to confirm that video gaming is a spectator sport as well as a participatory one. "Today, I'm pleased to announce we've been acquired by Amazon. We chose Amazon because they believe in our community, they …
Iain Thomson, 25 Aug 2014
OLPC XO3 tablet solar cover small

Google gobbles Fitbit whiz Gecko Design to strengthen those things that don't shift ads

Google has bought up Gecko Design, the industrial design house behind products like the One Laptop Per Child PC and Fitbit. "This is an incredible opportunity for everyone at Gecko," Jacques Gagne, Gecko's president and founder, gushed on the company website. "We are very excited and honored to join Google(x) and work on a …
Iain Thomson, 23 Aug 2014

Rubber Ub' hub: Uber test-drives condoms, gift card, soap etc deliveries

Taxi app Uber is running drugstore deliveries to customers in the Washington DC area as part of a test to see if it can become more than an amateur cabbie collective. Uber's in-development Corner Store can be accessed from a tab in the Uber app, and allows people to order their toiletries from an Uber driver. The inventory list …
Iain Thomson, 19 Aug 2014
Taxi Driver

Uber and Lyft sitting in a tree, 'c-a-n-c-e-l-l-i-n-g each other's rides'

Uber has blasted rival taxi app firm Lyft over claims that Uber staff had deliberately ordered Lyft rides and then cancelled them. Lyft told CNN that it had logged 5,560 requests for rides from staff of Uber since October 3, 2013, and that there were numerous cases of people ordering short Lyft rides and spending the time trying …
Iain Thomson, 13 Aug 2014

Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage

Updated Online marketplace eBay went titsup for an unknown number of customers in the UK this morning, but the company has been very slow to respond to complaints. When quizzed about the outage by The Register, eBay 'fessed up to yet more wobbles with its tat bazaar. “We are investigating reports that certain eBay features are …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Aug 2014

OK Google: Gobble chat app Emu. OK Google, now shut down Emu

Google has confirmed that it has opened up its wallet to acquire the development team behind the mobile chat app Emu. The web giant has not said what Emu's developers will work on at the Chocolate Factory, but we do know that the new jobs will not include maintaining any of the startup's products. Members of the Emu team posted …
Shaun Nichols, 6 Aug 2014
Roger Bamford

Oracle cluster daddy jumps ship to NoSQL upstart MongoDB

Roger Bamford, a pioneering database engineer who spent 30 years at SQL stalwart Oracle, has jumped over to the NoSQL side and landed in a new job at MongoDB. Bamford joins the seven-year-old startup with the title of distinguished engineer and will be part of the senior engineering team that develops the MongoDB database. " …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jul 2014
Lyft cars

Fares fair, says New York: Lyft finally gets in gear for the Big Apple

Ride-sharing service Lyft has agreed to a deal with New York officials to allow the company to open shop in New York City. The company said that as of 7pm local time on Friday it would launch in Brooklyn and Queens, two weeks after a last-minute legal threat from the state Attorney General forced the company to hit the brakes …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jul 2014