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Twitter 'news' spreads faster than Ebola #FakeCures #Malware

Social media has become a conduit for the spread of fake cures and treatments for Ebola. As if that weren't bad enough, confusion about the epidemic is also being harnessed to push malware and other cybercrime scams, security watchers warn. The hoaxes began in the Twittersphere with the spread of false ways to treat Ebola. Late …
John Leyden, 20 Oct 2014
Sportsman with moderated rifle in snow. Pic: Juha Perovuo

Police stats inflate the number of guns actually stolen in Blighty

Analysis The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has claimed that more legally owned firearms were lost or stolen over the last few years than appears to be the case, according to an exclusive analysis by The Register. The discrepancy casts doubt on a new initiative pillorying gun owners for being careless about gun security. …
Gareth Corfield, 20 Oct 2014

IBM: Please, take our chip unit. We'll give you $1.5 billion

Big Blue is going to become slightly less Big and Blue by paying Global Foundries $1.5bn to take on its chip-making business, according to multiple media reports. The giant's retreat from hardware continues following the transfer of the X86 server business to Lenovo. Bloomberg and others reported an IBM statement saying it is …
Chris Mellor, 20 Oct 2014
Blood image

SDI Wars: EMC must FORGET ARRAYS, adapt or disappear

Sysadmin blog Register storage supremo Chris Mellor has recently been reporting on EMC's slow descent into corporate depression due to a combination of activist investors and recalcitrant internecine political strife. There's nothing surprising here, I've been hearing the same things all across the EMC federation, though I've no inclination …
Trevor Pott, 20 Oct 2014
The Tardis: Oooo-eee-ooooo © BBC 1963, Courtesy of BBC Worldwide

Doctor Who and the Dalek: 10-year-old tests BBC programming game

Doctor Who has been pressganged into the BBC’s “Make it Digital” push to help kids understand computers rather than just playing with them. Its answer: an educational video game. The cunning plan is to sweeten the task of understanding basic coding by sneaking it into something that is fun, in order to reach the kids who don’t …
Dominic Connor, 20 Oct 2014
Germany celebrates winning Fifa world cup 2014 in Brazil

You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data

Evidence-based decision making is so clearly sensible because the alternative — making random decisions based on no evidence — is so clearly ludicrous. The “evidence” that we often use is in the form of information that we extract from raw data, often by data mining. Sadly, there has been an upsurge in the number people who move …
Mark Whitehorn, 20 Oct 2014
Brute Force

Visual voicemail hack makes your messages a snack

Ruxcon Sydney penetration tester Shubham 'Shubs' Shah has urged US and European researchers to probe their telco's voicemail security after he found accounts held by local telcos Vodafone and Optus were open to attack. The two telcos were vulnerable because design flaws mean neither limited the number of password guessing attempts in …
Darren Pauli, 20 Oct 2014
IE8 patch

Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch

Another Patch Update Tuesday, another red face for Microsoft, which has again been forced to pull a patch to prevent nasty side-effects. Explained at TechNet, the patch that aimed to add “SHA-2 Hashing” to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 has instead raised some concerns among Redmond's customers. The company is therefore “ …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2014

'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail

The man that Australia's Federal Police once described as "a self-proclaimed leader of the group ‘Lulz Security’ (Lulzsec)" has been sentenced to 15 months of home detention, after a local magistrate decided he was just a very naughty boy. Flannery was sentenced last week in a case that has to date evaded law reports and media …
Malware

Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz

Analyst firm Gartner has departed from its usual areas of expertise to issue advice on how to combat the Ebola virus. The firm's advice, which it says it is offering for free because “issues of public safety deserve broad distribution in the public interest”. The advice is so earnest that it almost sounds comical. For example, …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2014
Cellular antenna. Source: Vxla/Flickr

FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is firing up an investigation into millimetre-wave frequency spectrum allocations, and Google has filed an application to fool around with the same band. The FCC “notice of inquiry” is intended to work out what the US's regulatory response will be to the use of frequencies beyond 24 …
Sheep

STONER SHEEP get the MUNCHIES after feasting on £4k worth of cannabis plants

A flock of sheep that are about to meet their maker at the abattoir got high on cannabis plants worth £4,000, after the drugs were ditched in a Surrey field. "My sheep weren't quite on their backs with legs in the air but they probably had the munchies," farm shop manager Nellie Budd told local rag the Surrey Mirror. "They …
Team Register, 20 Oct 2014
ITU logo

ICT ministers mark out net-regulation patch ahead of ITU plenipot

The ITU has kicked off three weeks of wrangling over the future of the Internet – the 2014 Plenipotentiary – with a ministerial statement that's likely to spark concerns about the direction of the coming summit. The Busan Declaration, issued at the close of the Busan ICT ministerial meeting, is filled with high-minded language …

WAITER! There's a Flappy Bird in my Lollipop!

Google's practice of leaving Easter Eggs in Android appears to have continued, with a chap spotting a Flappy Bird clone in the new version 5.0, aka Lollipop, release. Here's his video of how to invoke the game, and a look at its gameplay. That Flappy Bird aficionados among you will notice that the game scrolls from right to …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2014

FIRST standards to clean up messy CERTs

The global gathering of incident responders FIRST is spearheading a global standards effort to reform and unify the operations of government and large enterprise computer emergency response teams (CERTs). The Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST) has tipped US$500,000 into the effort and has received backing from …
Darren Pauli, 20 Oct 2014

Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars

Comet Siding Spring has made a close pass by Mars, apparently without incident to the human-built machines in the neighbourhood. NASA says the “Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter … continues operating in good health after sheltering behind Mars during the half hour when high-velocity dust particles from comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2014

Austrian telco trials G.fast as 'interim solution'

Telekom Austria is the latest outfit to trumpet the virtues of the yet-to-be-ratified G.fast standard, announcing that a deployment trial conducted with Alcatel-Lucent achieved speeds beyond 100 Mbps per household. The deployment trial covered multi-storey apartments covered by Telekom Austria subsidiary A1, with the carrier …
Apple Mac Pro

vSphere meets iCylinder in new VMware update

VMware has emitted a small update to ESXi that, among other things, adds support for the Mac Pro. ESXi 5.5 patch 3 offers a collection of updates that address security and stability issues. VMware's not mentioning it on the download page, but staffer William Lam has helpfully let us know that the update also means ESXi can now …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Oct 2014
NASA Sunjammer concept image

No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer

Reports are emerging that NASA has decided not to go ahead with next year's Sunjammer mission, which was to demonstrate the use of “solar sail” propulsion. The project has attracted US$21 million of NASA cash under a contract awarded in 2011 to Californian company L'Garde. The agency's interest had been piqued by vacuum chamber …

Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE

Primitive, lake-dwelling armoured fish "invented" internal fertilisation and copulation 385 million years ago in Scotland, a top palaeontologist has found. According to Professor John Long at Flinders University in Australia, the discovery is big news for the evolutionary history of sexual reproduction. Male fossils expertly …
Team Register, 19 Oct 2014
Picard Facepalm

Yahoo! finally! releases! Flickr! app! for! iPad! BUT! shuns! Windows! fans!

Yahoo! has finally developed a Flickr app for Apple's iPad – but the move has upset Microsoft Windows' fans who have accused the Purple Palace of having "selective hearing" about its userbase. The Marissa Mayer-run company, which bought photo-sharing site Flickr in 2005, said on Friday that it had cooked up an app for Cupertino' …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Oct 2014

Whisper chief: 'We're not infallible but strive to do right by our anonymous users'

Whisper's CEO Michael Heyward responded late on Saturday to claims that his company's anonymous messaging app was quietly tracking the location of its users. He admitted in a post published on Medium that Whisper wasn't perfect, but Heyward was quick to defend its business tactics, after revelations emerged that the startup …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Oct 2014

COMET barrels towards Mars, machines of humanity race for cover

Pic A cosmic rock that is older than mankind is expected to come within 87,000 miles (139,500 km) of Mars today. An artist's impression of comet Siding Spring's flyby oft Mars. Image credit: NASA NASA has been gearing up for the close encounter by hiding its satellites to protect the kit from being damaged by passing comet debris …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Oct 2014
London BMW 5-Series police car

Are you a gun owner? Let us in OR ELSE, say Blighty's top cops

Downrange The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has announced a legal tweak intended to allow police officers to turn up at the homes of gun owners, without warning, and demand to inspect guns stored on the premises. A new Crimestoppers hotline is also in operation to encourage people to dob in gun owners they suspect of …
Gareth Corfield, 19 Oct 2014

'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts

The Tory-led government is hoping to push through amendments to existing legislation in England and Wales to crack down on trolls who post malicious comments online. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling told the Mail On Sunday that tougher sentences were to be introduced in an attempt to try to curb such abusive behaviour. It comes …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 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
Space pizza

Space exploration is just so lame. NEW APPS are mankind's future

CoTW What's more important: Angry Birds or the Space Shuttle? According to one Register commentard, it's the former. No, really - and yes, it's time for Comment of the Week once again. Silver-badged commentard Irongut opened this week's batting after weighing in on the news that Martha Lane Fox, or Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, doesn't …
Gareth Corfield, 19 Oct 2014
David Cameron, UK prime minister

Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...

Worstall @ the Weekend As is ever the case, by the time squares have caught on to the value of whatever hipsters have been doing this week, the latter are off doing something else entirely. Much the same happens with economic fashions: it takes time for those not actually involved in the subject to grok to what the cool kids are saying and by the time …
Tim Worstall, 19 Oct 2014

'George Orwell was an OPTIMIST. Show me a search history, I'll show you a perv or a crook'

QuoTW Google researchers came clean about a nasty little security vulnerability they discovered in SSL 3.0 this week, though not before El Reg first caught wind of it. The backdoor into the ancient old encryption standard can only be used if you can intercept the victim’s packets, potentially with a malicious Wi-Fi link, but once they …
Jaguar XJS modified for fuel efficiency

Want a more fuel efficient car? Then redesign it – here's how

Crawling from the Wreckage Cars are mass-produced consumer products sold to users who mostly know very little about them. They are optimised to make a profit for the manufacturer, so low build cost is paramount for most manufacturers – which automatically excludes many design and engineering ideas that would raise efficiency. John Watkinson has been busy …
John Watkinson, 19 Oct 2014
Concept of the Unimodal SkyTran system in use in Dubai.

'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'

eXpat Files Welcome once again to The eXpat files, our Vulture Weekend feature in which readers who've well and truly left the nest explain what it's like to ply their technological trade in another land. This week – we're going weekly by popular demand – meet D. Hayes Blanchard, who made the move from the US to Armenia, and then Dubai. …
Simon Sharwood, 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 …
balaclava_thief_burglar

Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt

Facebook's security bods routinely trawl public "paste" sites for email addresses and passwords stolen from its users, as part of an effort to outfox wrongdoers trying to hack into personal data on the free content ad network. However, the Mark Zuckerberg-run company was at pains to point out that the data-slurping battle with …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Oct 2014
NASA image of solar flare

NASA eyeballs SOLAR HEAT BOMBS, MINI-TORNADOES and NANOFLARES on Sun

Vid NASA scientists have unveiled data that they believe shows how the Sun's energy moves from the surface of the star at the centre of our Solar System through its fiery atmosphere. In a series of papers published in the latest issue of Science magazine, the astro boffins presented their findings from the US space agency's …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Oct 2014

Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores

Apple has quietly removed Bose headphones from its stores, following a noise-cancelling patent spat that Cupertino settled with the music tech company last week. The latest move, spotted by 9to5Mac, comes after Bose slung a sueball at Apple-owned headphone maker Beats in July this year. At the time, Bose alleged that Apple had …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Oct 2014
Tim Cook as Mr T

Slabba-dabba-GOLD! Apple kicks off presales of fingerprint-loving iPads

Fanbois can now pre-order Apple's iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 online, after the company unveiled its latest fondleslabs on Thursday. Depending on the spec of the latest iPads, customers can expect to wait anything between two and six working days before the devices are shipped, according to the UK version of Apple's online store …
Team Register, 18 Oct 2014
Regina Egbert, El Reg's virtual news anchor

New gadgets and the future of tech with Regina Eggbert

Vid Youtube Video Animated eggspert avatar Regina Eggbert takes you through a quick rundown of this week's top tech news. Eggspect news on new gadgets and the technologies of the future and find out more here, here, here and here. ® Regina Egbert, El Reg's virtual news anchor

Nobody wants to look at your boobs: Snapchat gets ads 'that interest you'

Snapchat has begun serving up adverts to its naked selfie despatching users in the USA. The company said in a blog post on Friday that ads would debut for State-side netizens from today. The messaging service was understood to be something of a haven for supposedly self-destructing naked selfies – until that is when around 200, …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Oct 2014
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- …
Bones, Kirk and Spock prepare to transport in Star Trek

Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody

Page File Anyone who’s read Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen, a searingly bleak and intricate fantasy series, will be bitterly disappointed with Willful Child (and yes, pedants, that is how he spells it). Starship Enterprise Instead of a blistering and fascinating foray into sci-fi, Erikson does a limp, lacklustre job of …

Ploppr: The #VultureTRENDING App of the Now

#VultureTRENDING We here at #VultureTRENDING are quite literally shitting in our pants with excitement over the latest app startup to take the internet by storm - Ploppr! The idea is incredibly simple: like all brilliant sharing economy ideas it seeks to put people who have something together with people who need that something. All over …
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 …