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Our artist's impression of a Terminator granny astride a mobility scooter

Granny's Guardian: Acorn BBC Micro hero touts OAP watchdog kit

Acorn Computers co-founder Chris Curry has popped up with Canary – a new bit of kit that keeps tabs on oldsters and alerts relatives if something goes wrong. The system is installed in an elderly person's home and uses a set of sensors to monitor temperature, movements, and even who comes to visit. While it does not use …
Jasper Hamill, 1 May 2014

Whaddaya mean, NO REFUND? But I paid in Bitcoins! Oh I see...

Something after the Weekend, Sir? Don’t tell anyone but I think I might have made an arse of myself again. It’s one thing to show oneself up among one’s peers but another to demonstrate publicly how thick I am front of people who are smarter, sharper, more successful and frankly a damn sight wealthier than me – a sector of society I generally refer to as "other …
Alistair Dabbs, 22 Apr 2014

Speaking in Tech: Social media, big brands, smut. Never mix these three!

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise Hosted by Greg Knieriemen, Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela. This week, the whole crew is together to... er, get social. This week we discuss... Did you see THAT porn pic tweeted by US Airways a few days ago in response to an irate customer? If you didn't you might have been …
Team Register, 16 Apr 2014

Look out, bankers! It's Lily Cole and her (Brit taxpayer-funded) WISH-PRINTING ATM

DreamWatch Millionaire model Lily Luahana Cole has been promoting her British taxpayer-supported "wishing well" website on a coast-to-coast tour of the United States. We wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't update you on its progress. So how's it doing? The United Nations and Harvard's New Age think-tank the Berkman Center both rolled …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Apr 2014
Bitcoins

MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling

Mark Karpelès, the founder of imploded Bitcoin exchange MtGox, says he won't come to the US to answer officials' questions after his trading website mislaid 850,000 BTC. Lawyers for MtGox said Karpelès had received a subpoena from the US Department of Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to come to a …

Want a free Bosch steam iron? You'll have to TALK TO THE DEAD

Bosch have invited British punters to commune with the spirit world in order to claim a free steam iron. Anyone who buys a Bosch WAP28360GB or WAQ243D0GB washing machine at Currys is eligible to claim a free steamer, as long as they agree to hand over a small wodge of personal information. One of the questions asks customers …
Jasper Hamill, 14 Apr 2014
Terminators

Who wants a ROBO-BUTLER? Google and pals do – and they've just put $2m towards it

RoTM Google has placed a bet on a robotics company that is working to create "services" robots for use in hospitals, care homes or hotels. Mountain View's investment arm, Google Ventures, handed over an undisclosed sum of money to startup Savioke, which is headed up by Steve Cousins, former CEO of PR2-maker and robotics pioneer …
Jasper Hamill, 10 Apr 2014

Cheat Win XP DEATH: Little-known tool to save you from the XPocalypse

Howto Windows XP's date with destiny has passed. As of Tuesday, Microsoft will NOT be releasing any new security updates. With one in five PCs still running Windows XP, there's a chance you are among those whose computer is now running an unsupported operating system. What now? Doing an in-place upgrade to Windows 7 isn't a good …
Liam Proven, 10 Apr 2014

'Monstrous' Apple kicked us off iAd, claimed we are its RIVAL – Brit music upstart

Apple has been accused of hobbling an up-and-coming British firm by booting it off the iAd advertising platform. Bloom FM, a Spotify-style music streaming service, claimed Apple issued the iAd ban because it now regards the London-based company as a rival. The Register understands that Apple wrote to Bloom today and claimed it …
Jasper Hamill, 9 Apr 2014

Siri set to rival Windows beauty Cortana after Apple eats Novauris

Apple's personal assistant Siri is more than two years old, so you'd think it was high time for its parents to cut the umbilical cord. Now, however, fanbois' need to keep their fruity friend permanently connected to the internet could be ending after Apple bought a British firm called Novauris, which specialises in voice …
Jasper Hamill, 4 Apr 2014
Windows 8.1 Start screen

Microsoft: Hey, small biz devs – Windows Store apps are for you, too

Build 2014 We reckon there haven't been many line-of-business apps built for Windows 8's Modern UI so far, but Microsoft has now made it easier for companies that want to do so. Most Windows 8 Apps are downloaded and installed from the Windows Store – which is why Microsoft has taken to calling them "Windows Store Apps" following the …

Tell it to me straight, vendors: Are you cheap and easy?

Is it easy? Is is cheap? These are pretty much the only two questions which interest me when talking to a vendor these days – after years of worrying about technology. Of course, if I was to produce an RFP document with simply those two questions, I’d probably be out of a job fairly swiftly. But those two questions are not …
StorageBod, 2 Apr 2014

BT merges iNet and Engage IT divisions under one roof

BT has slapped together the IT Engage and iNet businesses from today, April Fools' Day, but the move is no laughing matter for staff put at risk of redundancy. The telco had merged the dabs, Business Direct and Engage IT operations back in 2011, plonking long-serving exec John Thornhill into the boss seat to oversee integration …
Paul Kunert, 1 Apr 2014

Capita splashes £80m on network biz Updata

Capita has coughed an eye-watering £80m in cash for fellow Public Services Network (PSN) provider Updata, as El Chan predicted months ago. The pair are already well known to each other: they have an alliance in Scotland and linked arms on contracts including the recent Scottish WAN project valued at £325m over nine years. As …
Paul Kunert, 1 Apr 2014

Yahoo! keen! to! slurp! news! video! distie! site!

Yahoo! is reportedly chatting up the folks at online video service News Distribution Network for a potential acquisition worth $300m. Sources whispered to the Wall Street Journal that the Purple Palace is in talks to slurp NDN for around $300m, although the negotiations are only in the early stages so they could still fall apart …

BlackBerry sucker-punches TV star Ryan Seacrest in patent brawl

Troubled mobe maker BlackBerry has received a welcome bit of good news from a California court, which has blocked sales of a physical iPhone add-on keyboard the company says copies its hardware. A Northern California District Court judge on Monday granted an injunction that prevents the sale and import of Typo keyboards for …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Apr 2014

Bechtolsheim's baby Arista Networks heads toward IPO

Networking startup Arista Networks is filing for an IPO as the scrappy biz tries to wrestle share away from incumbents like Cisco and Juniper. The profitable upstart filed its S-1 form with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday. Arista Networks' chairman is Andy Bechtolsheim, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems. …
Jack Clark, 31 Mar 2014
Hadoop Elephant

Don't touch my trunk! Intel is $740m lighter after Cloudera cash shot

Intel has shoveled $740m into Hadoop company Cloudera, giving the chipmaker an 18 per cent stake in the data analysis firm. The mammoth funding was announced on Monday following the news last week of a major strategic partnership between the x86 goliath and the software upstart, which itself followed a separate funding round of …
Jack Clark, 31 Mar 2014

Facebook swallows Oculus VR goggle-geeks. Did that really happen?

Facebook has bought startup Oculus VR, which makes the much-hyped virtual-reality Rift headsets, for $2bn. The acquisition comes as people spend more time with their pals in digital worlds rather than the physical realm, and Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg wants to tap into that shift. The acquisition of Oculus VR Inc was …
Jack Clark, 25 Mar 2014

Our Moderately Sized Data analytics engine pooh-poohs Acer '30 second support' claims

Biz customers with broken Acer kit might want to sling a call into the technical centre: then put on the kettle and make a cuppa, because they could be on hold for a lot longer than they were expecting. Certainly longer than the half a minute average response time that Jakob Jersild Olsen, veep at Acer's commercial division EMEA …
Paul Kunert, 19 Mar 2014
Lyons Tea Shop Oxford Street, London

PAF! MPs go postal over postal location data sell-off by Coalition.gov

MPs have accused the government of short-sightedness, after it agreed to offload the Postcode Address File (PAF) as part of the sale of Royal Mail. The PAF contains location data for tens of millions of postal addresses across the nation. The parliamentary public administration committee said in a report, which scrutinised the …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Mar 2014
JustinSheehy

CTO of NoSQL database upstart Basho beams over to VMware

NoSQL database biz Basho's chief technology officer Justin Sheehy is heading to VMware – where he will be the site leader for the virtualization giant's office in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The distributed systems executive told El Reg on Tuesday that he will report to VMware's senior vice-president of research and development, …
Jack Clark, 11 Mar 2014

Basho's CEO, CTO and chief architect leave the NoSQL upstart

Exclusive Riak database steward Basho has lost its chief executive, its chief architect, and now its chief technology officer in the past three months. But we're assured that the upstart's distributed system dream will be kept alive and well. The Register has learned that CTO Justin Sheehy will soon be off to pastures unknown; chief …
Jack Clark, 10 Mar 2014

Northamber grabs ladder, claims PC market burning

Northamber's colourful chairman is forecasting a "more worthwhile future" - one that is less dependent on tech hardware - but the latest financials still bear the scorch-marks of attempts put out its burning PC biz. The UK's oldest tech wholesaler has been rather more quiet since listing on AIM, which means the company no longer …
Paul Kunert, 7 Mar 2014

Miscreant menaces Meetup, minuscule money mania mashed

Meetup.com has gone public with one of the most paltry ransom demands The Register has seen – but rather than pay up to end a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, the klatch organizer instead put up with its site being repeatedly hosed offline, we're told. The website said its woes began on Thursday when it received a …

But... you work in IT... Why aren't we RICH?

Something for the Weekend, Sir? “Monetizing is not the goal; growing is.” And with that explanation for his company’s decision to put another £11.5bn of someone else’s money through the shredder, Mark Zuckerberg fired the starting gun for the race to the next dot-com crash. Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp was not ludicrous, however. Nor was it genius, nor …
Alistair Dabbs, 28 Feb 2014
Suitcase bulging with cash

NuoDB slurps European cash for database expansion

Database pioneer Jim Starkey's latest venture NuoDB got another stamp of approval today as his upstart announced a new funding round led by European IT powerhouse Dassault Systèmes. The $14.2m bonanza was announced on Wednesday and will let NuoDB invest more in sales and marketing to help push its distributed-yet-reliable …
Jack Clark, 26 Feb 2014
The Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler

Winklevoss Twins' Bitcoin index provokes angry wails from rival

A Blighty-based Bitcoin bod has claimed the Winklevoss twins' cryptocurrency stock ticker has "taken influence" from his own open source service. The Zucker-baiters launched a website called Winkdex last week, which uses a patent-pending mathematical to formula to track the price of Bitcoin on several different exchanges. …
Jasper Hamill, 26 Feb 2014
management consumerisation

Java or .NET bod in the Midlands? Congrats - you've got a DOUBLE DIGIT payrise

IT contractors are being treated to whopping great annual pay rises of up to 13 per cent, a survey has revealed. While the rest of the world makes do with rock bottom wages, tech bods working in the financial services sector are finding their pay packets shoot skywards due to heavy demand for their skills, according to the …
Jasper Hamill, 25 Feb 2014

Facebook gobbles WhatsApp for SIXTEEN BILLION DOLLARS

Facebook has announced that it will acquire mobile messaging service WhatsApp in a deal valued at $16bn. The merger was revealed in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission published on Wednesday. According to the paperwork, WhatsApp will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Facebook in exchange for $4bn in cash, …
Neil McAllister, 19 Feb 2014
Scrooge McDuck

Upstart Postmates surfs $16m valley funding on backs of 'slave' couriers

San Francisco delivery company Postmates bagged $16m in funding from eager investors today – though an inspection of worker feedback shows that the startup is not as well-loved by some of its couriers. The series-B funding round will help the small biz improve its app, which people can use to bring "everything from a burrito to …
Jack Clark, 18 Feb 2014
Sinclair ZX Spectrum bluetooth keyboard with Manic Miner Art

ZX Spectrum game devs allege Elite Systems Ltd didn't pay their royalties

A number of British developers who coded games in the 1980s for the 8-bit ZX Spectrum home computer have been complaining about Elite Systems Ltd, alleging it had not made royalty payments due to them. The Lichfield, England-based outfit is run by Steve Wilcox, who describes himself as a producer for the firm, which - according …
Kelly Fiveash, 31 Jan 2014
Bletchley Park Manor House, photo: Gavin Clarke

Volunteers slam plans to turn Bletchley Park into 'geeky Disneyland'

Bletchley Park is planning to replace its volunteer tour guides with actors in a bid to turn the historical attraction into a "geeky Disneyland", The Register has learned. A number of people contacted The Reg after we wrote about the Bletchley Park Trust's decision to sack a pensioner after he showed visitors around the National …
Jasper Hamill, 29 Jan 2014
Bletchley Park

Elderly Bletchley Park volunteer sacked for showing Colossus exhibit to visitors

It is a simmering conflict between two rival organisations over how Blighty's rich computing history should be preserved and showcased. Now the ongoing war between Bletchley Park and the National Museum of Computing has claimed its first casualties. Tony Carroll, an elderly volunteer at Bletchley Park, was fired after daring to …
Jasper Hamill, 28 Jan 2014
Nyancoin logo

Altcoins will DESTROY the IT industry and spawn an infosec NIGHTMARE

Analysis Much has been written about how Bitcoin will affect libertarian society, banks, money and government, but there are some other effects that bear consideration: what it will do to the IT industry. Imagine you've always lusted after the highest of high end graphics cards. Why pay £500 for something that's only for improving the …
Simon Rockman, 27 Jan 2014
Funnel of cash. Credit: via SXC – http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Leonardini

MemSQL bods develop new transaction: $35m now in-pocket

The in-memory former-Facebook database jockeys at MemSQL have taken in $35m in valley lucre. The series-B funding round was announced on Wednesday and saw Accel Partners lead an investment round in the database technology. MemSQL's in-memory database is designed to run on scale-out commodity hardware, and pulls off various …
Jack Clark, 23 Jan 2014
Peter Jones, Dragon's Den star

I'm in: Peter 'Dragons' Den' Jones launches bid to buy out Expansys

Dragons' Den star Peter Jones has launched a £6.1m takeover bid of his electronics retail firm Expansys. The entrepreneur made his move after increasing his share ownership in the AIM-listed firm from 41.4 percent to more than 50 per cent. Jones bought some 110.3 million shares to become the majority owner. This means that …
Jasper Hamill, 16 Jan 2014
Iceotope

Iceotope sounds like a kids' superhero – but it's a UK server-cooler maker that just bagged £6.1m

The UK's Sheffield-based Iceotope has grabbed $10m (£6.10m) in funding to help it push its liquid-cooling server tech into more data centres. The cash injection was announced on Monday, and should let the company double in size from 16 to more than 30 employees in the next year, Iceotope chief executive Peter Hopton told The …
Jack Clark, 14 Jan 2014

Google gobbles Wi-Fi thermostat maker Nest for $3.2 BEEELLION IN CASH

Nest Labs, which touts sensors and controllers for so-called "smart homes", has been bought by Google for $3.2bn in hard cash. "Nest's founders, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, have built a tremendous team that we are excited to welcome into the Google family," gushed Google CEO Larry Page in a statement, heaping praise on the two …
Iain Thomson, 13 Jan 2014
Suitcase bulging with cash

Ex-Sun mafioso sleeps with the VCs: Netflix guru quits to help fund startups

Top cloud industry veteran Adrian Cockcroft has left Netflix for venture-capital firm Battery Ventures: he'll now help investors spot companies worthy of a slurp from Battery's $900m trough of valley lucre. Cockcroft announced his move on Tuesday, and we're sure that CEOs and CTOs at cloud-oriented startups around the valley …
Jack Clark, 8 Jan 2014
Cyanogenphone

Cyanogen grabs $23m, will ship mod-installed N1 smartmobe on Xmas Eve

Champagne corks will be popping in a Seattle startup this evening. Cyanogen, the company behind alternative Android distribution CyanogenMod, has banked $23m in series-B funding – and Google has given its blessing to allow a smartphone to ship with the team's operating system installed. The double whammy of funding and a phone …
Jack Clark, 21 Dec 2013

Who should be responsible for devices, apps and services?

Tech Panel Are you a user or business manager fed up with IT constantly telling you "No" when it comes to the devices and apps you need to get your job done? Are you an IT pro tired of having to deal with users wanting their latest bling connected to the network? If you fall into either of these categories, or are just trying work through …
Dale Vile, 20 Dec 2013