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Google pulls out of gaping Blogger smut black hole

Google has backed down on its frigid threat to tug filthy porno pics and raunchy grumble vids off Blogger. The ad giant on Thursday said it will continue to allow randy netizens to post amateur smut, reversing an earlier decision forbidding X-rated blog posts unless they were deemed arty and acceptable to Mountain View's censors …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Feb 2015
Leonard Nemoy

RIP Leonard Nimoy: He lived long and prospered

Obit Leonard Nimoy, the actor who became the most recognized face of the Star Trek franchise, has died at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 83. A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP — Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) February 23, 2015 Nimoy was born on March 26, 1931 in …
Iain Thomson, 27 Feb 2015

Reckon YOU can write better headlines than us? Great – apply within

Job The Register is expanding in the States: we're seeking a full-time US Production Editor to work in our San Francisco bureau in California. The successful applicant will work alongside our US editor and four reporters to prepare news, opinion and feature articles on the world of science and technology for our vast and …
Chris Williams, 27 Feb 2015
Samsung UE105S9 5K 105-inch flexible TV

Guess who filed most Euro patents in 2014? Yep, still Samsung

The European Patent Office (EPO) has released its latest annual figures showing that the number of patents filed reached an all-time high in 2014. Samsung held on to its number one closely followed by Philips and Siemens. Huawei, LG, Qualcom, Ericsson and Intel also made the top 10. Nokia was only just outside that in 11th place …
Jennifer Baker, 27 Feb 2015
Bingo Hall sign in San Antonio, Texas (August 2007). Photo by Peter Rimar. licensed under creative commons 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

GAMIFY your FRIDAY with our Public Sector Innovation Bingo!

Bored with another grey Friday? Here is a game for two players. The exercise allows you to keep up to date with vital subsidy-seeking buzzwords – while retaining the vital element of "fun". In this game, one player reads a press release sent to us by an innovation quango, while the other ticks off buzzwords on a Bingo Card – …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Feb 2015

BOFH: The ONE-NINE uptime solution

Episode 2 "So what's the problem again?" the Boss asks, lurching into Mission Control like a Dalek with stepper motor problems. "We're not sure - it's not internet connectivity because we can get to other sites ok, but we're definitely having problems with the email site." "We shouldn't be!" he snaps back, presumably thinking that a …
Simon Travaglia, 27 Feb 2015
Infosec

Lenovo: We SWEAR we're done with bloatware, adware and scumware

Barely a week after the breaking of the Superfish scandal, Lenovo has done a complete reverse ferret on bloatware - promising that by the time Windows 10 comes out its systems will be as pure as they can be. “The events of last week reinforce the principle that customer experience, security and privacy must be our top priorities …
Iain Thomson, 27 Feb 2015

BP: Oil prices crashed, so must our ICT budget

BP has confirmed it is looking to squeeze costs from its annual ICT budget on the back of crashing oil prices, and well-placed sources tell us the business wants to identify $300m in savings. It’s been a tough couple of years for the over-enthusiastic oil seeker and distributor, what with the crisis in Gulf of Mexico and more …
Paul Kunert, 27 Feb 2015
SoftLayer's data center

SCC bags universal credit hosting contract

Reseller and IT services outfit SCC has won a two-year hosting deal for the Department for Work and Pensions' (DWP) troubled universal credit programme for a sum worth "over six figures". The deal was awarded through the G-Cloud and is part of the DWP's next "digital service" phase of the programme, which is currently being …
Kat Hall, 27 Feb 2015
Mobile phone mast

Ministry of Fun tries again on mobile mast planning permission

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has announced a consultation (PDF) on reforming the Electronic Communications code. This is crucial ingredient to the “landmark” not-spots deal announced at the back end of last year. Most of the parts of the package in the deal were things which were going to happen anyway, but one …
Simon Rockman, 27 Feb 2015
wall_street

Nimble revenue diet gets fibre supplement

IPOed hybrid array market star Nimble Storage beat the street with fourth-quarter revenues of $68.3m, and lost less money than last quarter as Fibre Channel sales kicked in. Can it keep on like this? The revenue was up 64 per cent on an annual compare. Losses of $24.7m were less than the previous quarter's $28.4m, but almost …
Chris Mellor, 27 Feb 2015
A large hand flicks an icon of a little red man. Image via shutterstock (Lasse Kristensen)

ANOTHER shake-up at HP Enterprise Services

A mini shake-up of the Enterprise Services (ES) division at HP has seen the role of UK public sector veep Stuart Bladen carved up and shared out among several others. As a result, local public sector selling will fall under the control of Nigel Kirby Green, who is also tzar of HP’s healthcare and life sciences organ. The …
Paul Kunert, 27 Feb 2015
Frog on dime, credit Rittmeyer et al, journal PlosONE

Google pumps $60m into music company Kobalt

Google Ventures has pumped $60m (£39m) into London-based music tech company Kobalt Music, which helps publishers keep tabs on streaming services such as Spotify. The company has already received a stake from Michael Dell's private investment firm MSD Capital, with the latest funding adding to the princely sum of $66m (£43m) …
Kat Hall, 27 Feb 2015

Ingram Micro: Damn you Europe for our ghastly margins

Weaker margins in Europe due to forex losses and cut-throat retail pricing was the only major blip in an otherwise decent end to the calendar 2014 for Ingram Micro. It was not a vintage year though. Sales in Q4 bounced 18 per cent to $13.95bn: Technology and Other Solutions grew ten per cent to $11.2bn and Mobility shot up 60 …
Paul Kunert, 27 Feb 2015
Roller shutter

Thousands of UK drivers' details leaked through hole in parking ticket website

Thousands of UK drivers have been caught up in a data breach at a UK parking firm. A database of parking ticket details held by PaymyPCN.net covering almost 10,000 motorists was mistakenly published online. A security flaw on the private parking firm's website allowed public access to names, addresses, photographs and emails. …
John Leyden, 27 Feb 2015

Flashy upstarts facing IPO pressure. Get on with it then

Comment Conventional wisdom has it that VC-funded tech start-ups get acquired or, hopefully, go through an IPO to become successful stand-alone companies. However, such may not be the fate of the five main surviving all-flash array (AFA) vendors in the face of fast and furious mainstream supplier reaction to their success. Step back a …
Chris Mellor, 27 Feb 2015

NTT Com Security to wed UK cyber specialist Nebulas, say sources

NTT Com Security is to acquire rapidly growing London-based Nebulas Solutions Group, according to well-placed industry tipsters. Talks between the pair progressed in recent weeks though details of any financial exchange were not available at the time of writing. Nebulas is unlikely to come cheap. Sources tell us specialist …
Paul Kunert, 27 Feb 2015

TalkTalk 'fesses up to MEGA data breach

TalkTalk has admitted to a major breach of sensitive user information, which may have led to some customers handing over bank data to hackers. In an email to subscribers, the company said it first saw a big increase in malicious scammers claiming to be from TalkTalk at the end of last year. The budget telco said that – …
Kat Hall, 27 Feb 2015
Mad Catz Mojo Android gaming console

Revival of fortune: Mad Catz Mojo Android gaming micro console

Review Like the Kickstarter poster-child Ouya, Mad Catz’ Mojo was sent before its time into this breathing world, scarce half made up. Or to put it in a less Shakespearean way, it lacked the full Google Play experience and was a bit pricey. Mad Catz has now had a pop at fixing both those failings. The price has dropped from £220 to a …
Alun Taylor, 27 Feb 2015

El Reg regains atomic keyring capability

It's official: El Reg's merchandising tentacle Cash'n'Carrion has regained its atomic keyring capability with the arrival in our virtual emporium of the Nite Glowring. The six flavours of glowring You demanded the return of the legendary tritium-powered Traser, but sadly they'e no longer available. Instead, we've sourced for …
Team Register, 27 Feb 2015
This black phone is a rival to Blackphone

Paranoid Android Kaymera smartmobe takes on Blackphone

MWC2015 Security specialist Kaymera – based in Herzliya, Israel – has launched a mobile security platform aimed at paranoid corporations. The Kaymera 360° software consists of a secure build of Android and accompanying MDM functions. The company describes it as a three-layer approach of protection, prevention and detection. Using a …
Simon Rockman, 27 Feb 2015

CloudFlare crypto gets faster on old mobes

Popular denial of service deflection platform CloudFlare is deploying new speedy cipher suites previously championed by Google, maths boffin Nick Sullivan says. The ChaCha-Poly1305 cipher is three times faster than the resource heavy AES-128-GCM cipher and was not subject to attacks against RC4, Sullivan (@grittygrease) says, …
Darren Pauli, 27 Feb 2015
Moto E front and back view. Pic: Motorola

Moto E 2015: The builder's cheapie gets a serious upgrade

Hands On Why can't everybody make a bargain basement phone as well as Motorola? They're as fashionable as egg and chips in a 1970s Wimpy Bar, but the popularity of the small, robust, no-nonsense Moto E and G models has helped revived the brand. The Chinese-owned phone operation yesterday upgraded the Moto E yesterday, adding some quality …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Feb 2015
Google logo

Google open-sources HTTP/2-based RPC framework

Google has open-sourced something called “gRPC” that it says represents “a brand new framework for handling remote procedure calls” using HTTP/2. The Chocolate Factory says it has dogfooded gRPC on its own microservices and that it “enables easy creation of highly performant, scalable APIs and microservices” and offers “ …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Feb 2015

Churchill's blood valued at £560,000. Take that Stalin!

The blood circulating in Winston Churchill's veins was worth around £560,000, on the basis of a valuation placed on a small phial of it being auctioned next month. Dukes Auctions is estimating the phial of his blood obtained by a nurse in 1962 could fetch £1,000, although a spokeswoman from the auction house said that due to the …
Kat Hall, 27 Feb 2015
Apple's latest notification of hypegasm

NERDGASM as Apple announces 'special event'

Apple's hype machine has creaked into life again, with media outlets on Cupertino's “nice” list* reportedly showered with a new invitation to pay homage to the company on March 9th. The company's also updated its live events page with news of a to-be-streamed event on the same day. It's widely held the event will reveal more …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Feb 2015
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Australia to get spooks charter at cost of at least AU$188m

Australia's Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) has recommended that the nation adopt a telecommunications metadata retention regime. The Committee's report report (PDF) does recommend changes to the current Bill, including the proposed dataset being enshrined in legislation and therefore subject …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Feb 2015
Aereo antenna array

Scavengers pick bones of collapsed telly-spaff upstart Aereo

Erstwhile TV streamer Aereo has held the auction to sell off its remaining assets to help cover its debts. The results: not so good. The company was able to get just US$1.54m for the sale of its trademarks, patents, domains and customer lists. A trio of companies, including DVR-maker TiVo bought the assets. According to a …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Feb 2015
Leisure Suit Larry screenshot

To beat Oracle, find jurors who care about Leisure Suit Larry not Larry Ellison

When you kick a giant in the shins and threaten to cut it off at the knees, do it in a jurisdiction you believe will provide you with a sympathetic jury. That's the strategy advised by Seth Ravin, founder and CEO of third-party application support outfit Rimini Street. The ten year-old company is an irritant to Oracle and SAP …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Feb 2015

Net neutrality: The world speaks its brains on secret 'open' 'net rules

Comment Look at this photo of FCC chairman Tom Wheeler holding hands and smiling with the two Democrat commissioners who backed his "open internet" regulations, the pair wearing vivid blue outfits. It sums all that was both good and worrying about the decisions today to pass secretive net neutrality rules. Here, we see a historic debate …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Feb 2015
casino_security

Iran hacks America where it hurts: Las Vegas casinos

US director of National Intelligence James Clapper has accused Iran of orchestrating a 2014 hack of the Las Vegas Sands casino. The attack crippled the magnificent cultural institution's IT infrastructure. Clapper told a US Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday (US time) that the hack of the US$14 billion casino was the …
Darren Pauli, 27 Feb 2015
Samsung Smart TV

EPIC asks FTC to stick a probe up Samsung over 'snooping' smart TVs

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has lobbied the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate Samsung's collection of user information in its Smart PCs. The group filed a formal complaint with the FTC alleging that Samsung is misleading its customers and running afoul of the US Electronic Communications …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Feb 2015

EFF fears crims are getting smart to Superfish SSL flaws

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) says it has found evidence that the security problems with Superfish could be much worse than first thought. Superfish caused such a stink when it was discovered last week because the Komodia software it used borks SSL connections. But EFF researchers have found that the Komodia library …
Iain Thomson, 27 Feb 2015
Huawei HQ

Check out our HOT AIR INTERFACE for 5G – Huawei

Jockeying for position in the yet-to-be-real 5G market continues, with Huawei announcing that it's going to demo a new air interface at Mobile World Congress in March. The Chinese giant will be showing off techniques it calls Sparse Code Multiple Access (SCMA) and Filtered-Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (F-OFDM). In …
Google UK office logos

Dot-word sensation: Google forks out $25m for a fist of .app-y pills

Google has spunked $25m on the rights to sell domains ending in ".app", beating off competition from 12 other bidders, including Amazon and almost every large internet registry. The new generic top-level domain (gTLD) was notable for being the most hotly contested extension amid more than 1,000 others that vary from brand names …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Feb 2015
Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy book cover

Alleged Aussie Anon hauled in for Indonesia phone tap hacking spat

A Melbourne man has been charged with instigating an Indonesian-led hack of Australian intelligence websites as an alleged member of the Anonymous collective. Matthew John Hutchison, 21, faced Melbourne Magistrates Court this week over allegations he convinced Indonesian Anonymous hackers angry over October 2013 revelations that …
Darren Pauli, 27 Feb 2015
IBM Headquarters, Armonk, NY

If in doubt, blow $4bn: IBM says it will fatten up on cloud, mobile, Big Data cake by 2018

IBM is betting billions that it can claw its way back to growth by focusing on what it calls its "strategic imperatives," including cloud, data analytics, mobility, social networking, and security. During Big Blue's annual meeting with financial analysts on Thursday, CFO Martin Schroeter said IBM plans to shift $4bn of spending …
Neil McAllister, 26 Feb 2015

Reddit showers gold on drugs, hippies and Tor-rorists

4chan-for-beginners website Reddit has announced the winners of its charity give-away. The site said that it would donate 10 per cent of its ad revenues from the last year - US$827,659.49 - to 10 charities selected by its user base. Each charity will receive a check for $82,765.95 from Reddit. True to form, Redditors settled on …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Feb 2015
Free Robot Hugs by Ben Husmann https://www.flickr.com/photos/benhusmann/sets/72157594246596196

Facebook sad-nav: How to put depressed chums on internet suicide watch

The signs of future suicide often pop up on social media, so Facebook has partnered with the University of Washington (UW) to roll out new tools that can hopefully provide a lifeline to those in need. "Often, friends and family who are the observers in this situation don't know what to do," said Holly Hetherington, a Facebook …
Iain Thomson, 26 Feb 2015
Facebook_Samsung re 850 Pro firmware bug

Errant update borks Samsung 850 Pro SSDs

Turning social media against Samsung, a Facebook group has been set up to get the Korean company to fix a firmware update that borks the 850 Pro SSD. This SSD uses brand new 3D NAND and has a 10-year warranty. According to the Facebook group (requires log-in): "A few days ago Samsung published a new firmware update for its …
Chris Mellor, 26 Feb 2015

Net neutrality secrecy: No one knows what the FCC approved (BUT Google has a good idea)

Analysis US watchdog the FCC formally approved new net neutrality rules on Thursday for America. But you're out of luck if you want to know exactly how your access to the internet will be now be governed. Despite getting the green light, the exact rules have not been revealed and will remain a mystery for some unspecified length of time …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Feb 2015
NASA S/390 91

Assemblers were once people: My aunt did it for NASA

The IT runs strong in my family. One day -- this is more than thirty years ago -- when I pulled myself out of the code mines, I found my Aunt Anna visiting. I mentioned (proudly) that I was mastering the arcana of assembly language programming on the TRS-80, using Microsoft’s MASM macro-assembler. “Really?” she replied. “A …
Mark Pesce, 26 Feb 2015