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Gunther Oettinger, EU digital commissioner. Pic: Jennifer Baker

Have Oetti and Google kissed and made up?

Google’s new Project Fi – the Chocolate Factory's attempt to square up to mobile carriers – has a relatively surprising big fan: none other than EU digi commish Gunther H. Oettinger. After the ad flinger's low-fi launch of Fi on Wednesday, Oetti, who has in the past suggested taxing the hell out of Google, took to Twitter to say …
Jennifer Baker, 27 Apr 2015
HP Logo splitting in two

HP in talks with unions ahead of the Big Split-Up

HP is consulting the local Works Council and trade unions well ahead of the corporate bisection, with its UK organ aiming to be ready to dot the Is and cross the Ts in a little over four months' time. The British tentacle is understood to be HP's second largest sales territory so getting things running smoothly here is paramount …
Paul Kunert, 27 Apr 2015
Barack Obama in the Oval Office

Ruskie hackers nab unclassified Obama emails

Russian hackers have made off with unclassified emails sent and received by US President Barack Obama as part of an October Whitehouse breach previously played down as minor, according to reports. The emails could contain sensitive information including diplomatic correspondence, schedules, and policy debate, unnamed officials …
Darren Pauli, 27 Apr 2015

US hospitals to treat medical device malware with AC power probes

Two large US hospitals will in the next few months begin using a system that can detect malware infections on medical equipment by monitoring AC power consumption. The unnamed hospitals will be the first in a list to test the add-on monitoring platform dubbed WattsUpDoc to check for potentially life-threatening malware running …
Darren Pauli, 27 Apr 2015
Bjarne Stroustrup

C++ Daddy Bjarne Stroustrup outlines directions for v17

Calm yourselves, readers. The Spring 2015 C++ Standards Committee Meeting takes place next week in Lenexa, Kansas. And at that meeting much of the discussion is expected to consider C++ 17, a major revision of the programming language due in 2017. C++ is currently in version 14, which was released last year, but last week C++ …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Apr 2015

Top Spanish minister shows citizens are thick as tortillas de ballenas

A survey into the social perception of science by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology has revealed that a quarter of Spaniards believe the sun orbits the earth. Additionally, a third of those surveyed seemed to think that humans co-existed with dinosaurs, and only 60 per cent believed that science has more benefits …
Monty Python dead parrot sketch

Not so fast on FM switch-off: DAB not so hot say small broadcasters

Norway's plan to ditch FM radio broadcasting has come under fire from that country's smaller broadcasters. The Register reported last week that with digital reaching its audience targets, the government set a 2017 date for the death of analogue FM radio in that country - freeing up spectrum for "digital dividend"-style …
Virtual Machine Manager Update Rollup 6

Microsoft adds Azure VM controls to Virtual Machine Manager

Microsoft's about to issue a new Update Rollup for System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM). Update Rollups are badly-named these days, because Redmond now slips in small features to the products that get a rollup when the packages land on the last Tuesday of a calendar quarter's first month. This week, VMM users are slated …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Apr 2015
Good riddance to bad Java

NINETY PER CENT of Java black hats migrate to footling Flash

RSA 2015 Almost every Java-hacking black hat is now popping Adobe Flash, after Microsoft's hard-line patch policy made it harder to target software such as Java. The stricken scum now face a choice: work harder to find Java zero-days or abandon ship and start exploiting old Flash bugs. Redmond's security brains trust – Tim Rains, Matt …
Darren Pauli, 27 Apr 2015

Debian ships new 'Jessie' release with systemd AND sysvinit

The Debian project is touting new ports for ARM and POWER architectures, a bunch of software updates, an upgraded Gnome desktop and better security in its just-unleashed Jessie release. However, El Reg fully expects that the switch to systemd as the default init system will divert at least some attention from the release. …
Sabeen Mahmud

Celebrated Pakistani female online activist Sabeen Mahmud dies in shooting

Unidentified gunmen have killed Pakistani women's activist Sabeen Mahmud in a targeted shooting that also left her mother in intensive care. News of the murder emerged over the weekend, with reports from Karachi that she died on the way to hospital after being shot four times. Pakistan's The Express Tribune reports the case is …
Man drinking through a straw CC2.0 attribution Bradley Gordon https://www.flickr.com/photos/icanchangethisright/

Riverbed retires RVBD from NASDAQ after private equity swoop

Riverbed is no longer a publicly-traded company, as the buyout of its stock by private equiteer Thoma Bravo and Teachers’ Private Capital concluded late last week. The deal was announced last December and appears to have been influenced by activist investor Elliot Management which reckons Riverbed could be doing better. All …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Apr 2015
Facepalming statue

App makers, you're STILL doing security wrong

Security expert Troy Hunt has taken a look at what mobile apps collect to send home to their owners, and isn't impressed: even PayPal is still addicted to invasive habits, he says. Looking at PayPal and two Australian apps – a small sample, admittedly, but we'll get to this shortly – the prominent Microsoft security researcher …
firing range - target in cross hairs

Grooveshark faces $750 MEELLION piracy payout

Copy-shop Grooveshark's prospects in the latest round of its lawsuit are looking bleak: remarks made by the judge hearing the case have opened up the possibility of damages close to three quarters of a billion dollars against the song-share site. Ahead of this week's hearing, the presiding judge told jurors that Grooveshark's …
Dan Fredinburg on Mount Everest. Pic credit: Fredinburg's Instagram page

Google exec and avid climber dies on Mount Everest

One of Google's top privacy wonks was killed by an avalanche on Mount Everest on Saturday. The snowslide was triggered by a massive Nepal earthquake that has reportedly claimed the lives of more than 2,000 people in the region. Dan Fredinburg had worked at Google since 2007 as a product manager, software engineer and the ad …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Apr 2015
Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Nokia on phone return mutterings: They LIIED. We won't be BAAACK

Nokia has dismissed claims that suggested the company was "currently" planning a big, splashy return to the smartphone business next year. As of the second half of 2016, the Finnish firm will no longer be saddled to a deal it inked with Microsoft – which bought Nokia's devices and services unit in 2014. However, Nokia attacked …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Apr 2015
Golem. Pic credit: Bernhard Mueller

Golem: Prominent plasticine phallus caught in tech consumerist nightmare

Theatre Review Golem, coming straight from a critically acclaimed run at London's Young Vic, presents us with a modernist cautionary tale of mass media manipulation and conspicuous consumerism. Foremost in my mind on attending this show produced by multi award-winning theatre company 1927 – well-known for its visually arresting performance …
Lucy Orr, 26 Apr 2015

Quid-A-Day Nosh Challenge kicks off early for starvation veteran

The El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse has attracted two last minute members for the 2015 Live Below the Line challenge, and we're delighted to welcome back on board 2014 participant Toby Sibley, who's joined by his better half Ros Griffin. Readers who followed last year's budget nosh entertainment will recall that Toby survived on an …
Lester Haines, 26 Apr 2015

'Hiding our wristjobs from Apple stores ain't easy' – iThing retail boss

QuoTW This week, Moore's Law turned 50, Microsoft lost a pile of cash and Comcast gave up on its dream of buying Time Warner Cable. Here are some of the better quotes uttered over the past seven days: Google got caught having a piddle party on poor Apple, but the Chocolate Factory was quick to heap the blame on its users. When asked …
Team Register, 26 Apr 2015
https://www.flickr.com/photos/foundanimalsfoundation/ by Found Animals Foundation CC 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/foundanimalsfoundation/

Who was downloading smut in the office while eating ice cream?

On-call +NSFW Welcome back to On-call, our planned-to-be-fortnightly look at the things readers have been asked to do in the course of their employment, often at odd hours. This week, reader Guy* wrote to tell us about a gig he scored in the mid-nineties, where “my first task was to find out where all our bandwidth was going when the office …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Apr 2015
cactus_hero_image

Citroën C4 Cactus BlueHDi: A funky urban crossover

Vulture at the Wheel Concept cars are great. I love them. As bold, inventive declarations of intent by car makers they are gorgeous to look at. Of course, the vast majority of concepts are for just that. Looking at. Build the thing and you run the risk of the styling writing cheques the engineering can’t cash. cactus_trafford_road C4 Cactus has the …
Alun Taylor, 26 Apr 2015
Hungry goat licks lips. Pic: David Goehring

So how should we tax these BASTARD COMPANIES, then?

Worstall @ the Weekend To break with tradition: this week let's see if we can propose something sensible rather than doing our usual liverish snarling at whatever it is that grips my goat this week. So, let's see if we can work out how we should actually be taxing capital and the returns to it. This, of course, involves the taxation of corporations as …
Tim Worstall, 26 Apr 2015
Android 5.0 "Lollipop"

Google TUGS Nexus 7-INCHER from its online store

Fandroids may be mourning the sudden death of Google's Nexus 7 slab, after the world's largest ad broker yanked the device from its online shopfront over the weekend. A visit to the Google Store reveals that the tablet has now been axed. Anyone searching for a Nexus 7 will be told that it "is no longer available for purchase …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Apr 2015
Milky Way stars and planets

Astroboffins mine data in pursuit of lonely, homeless RUNAWAY GALAXIES

Astronomers have observed 11 runaway galaxies wandering aimlessly around in spaaace. The discovery was revealed by star-gazing boffin Igor Chillingarian of Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (HSCA) and Moscow State University, who was the lead author of a study published in the Science journal on Friday. Scientists dub …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Apr 2015

Yahoo! Mail! goes! titsup! in! Blighty! due! to! mystery! error!

Updated Yahoo!'s email service tumbled off the interwebs in the past hour when it began spewing out a "temporary error" message to an unknown number of users in the UK. The Purple Palace, however, remained silent about the outage on its official Twitter customer care account. At time of publication, it was not clear how many netizens …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Apr 2015

Business plans, good ideas, and 8 other myths about startups – by Indiegogo's CEO

"We have the ability to be an entrepreneur beaten out of us," explained the CEO of funding site Indiegogo Slava Rubin, in front of a big picture of a kettle. Rubin was giving the closing keynote at this week's Vator Splash in Oakland – his backyard, he told us. "I turned down South by Southwest, but Oakland? Yes to Oakland." …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Apr 2015
Hubble anniversary image

Hubble hits 25th anniversary IN SPAAACE – time for telescope to come home

Pics On 24 April, 1990, the space shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida carrying a very special cargo: 24,490lbs (11,110kg) of advanced optics, electronics, and antennas that made up the Hubble Space Telescope. The 'scope has revolutionised our understanding of the universe, in part thanks to five …
Iain Thomson, 25 Apr 2015
Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron – blisteringly big banter, brawls and brio

Film Review Marvel’s Avengers franchise is such a massive, behemoth of a marketing machine, such a merchandise-heavy, almost decade-long suction of talent, time and money that I want to hate it. I want to say, why don’t we spend all that money on independent films? Original stories? Something new, for God’s sake! But there’s just no denying …
Philip Kerr, The Lady from Zagreb book cover

Memory Man, The Lady from Zagreb and Blood on Snow

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston takes a look at the new releases in crime fiction with the latest from David Baldacci that introduces a new character series. Philip Kerr wheels outs Bernie Gunther for another wartime adventure and we've some Scandi noir from Jo Nesbo. Memory Man David Baldacci is a bestselling American novelist, …
Mark Diston, 25 Apr 2015
Paul Wiffen, the Elka Synthex and Michelle Moog

Synths you've been gone: Vintage tech rules at Musikmesse 2015

+Vids The trend of re-releasing or updating classic synths, which we saw at NAMM in January, continued apace at the biggest musical instrument fair in the world in Frankfurt last week. But for once there was a strong British presence, with innovative new products, as well. In Hall 5.1, where most of the synthesiser manufacturers …
Paul Wiffen, 25 Apr 2015
Man in an orange jumpsuit clutches prison bars. Image by Shutterstock

Stuff your RFID card, just let me through the damn door!

Something for the Weekend, Sir? "Never heard of them." Well, could you look again? "They're not on the list, sir." Look, I was here last week. The business I am visiting today definitely exists. It's in this building. Please let me through. [shuffling of papers] "Did you want Amalgamated Durables? No? How about Insure and Blow? Or is it one of those tech …
Alistair Dabbs, 25 Apr 2015
Percentage of mobile malware on Android

Fandroids, take your phone's antivirus and burn it – Android bod

RSA 2015 Google takes a lot of stick from Apple and others over malware on the Android platform, but the company thinks the OS is now so secure that users don't need antivirus software. Speaking at the RSA Conference in San Francisco this week, Adrian Ludwig, lead engineer for Android security, explained that Google is now scanning for …
Iain Thomson, 24 Apr 2015
Man in an orange jumpsuit clutches prison bars. Image by Shutterstock

Bloke, 22, in knockoff Microsoft Xbox ring gets 18 months in the cooler

A 22-year-old member of a games-hacking ring that sold counterfeit Microsoft's Xbox One consoles could spend the next year and a half behind bars in America. A US court sentenced Canadian David Pokora to 18 months in the slammer for his involvement in a group accused of stealing an estimated $100m to 200m worth of source code …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Apr 2015

Internet kingmakers drop ego, devise future of DNS, IP addys etc

Five months after the release of a bloated, ego–driven mess of a plan to shift control of the top level of the internet from the US government to the internet community, a greatly improved version 2.0 has been offered for public comment. The 90–page Response to the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group Request for …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Apr 2015

Here's why the Pentagon is publishing its cyber-warfare rulebook – if China hasn't already hacked in and read it

The Pentagon has published an outline of its cyber-warfare strategy for the first time, revealing the conditions under which it will hack enemy nations. And Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, speaking at Stanford University, has named China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea as the US's greatest adversaries in computer security. …
John Leyden, 24 Apr 2015
Mark Hurd

Oracle's Hurd says 95% of its software will be cloud services this year

Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd has said the database giant plans to make substantially all of its software products available as cloud services, and that it will be ready to start signing up subscriptions come this October. Hurd made his comments in an interview with Bloomberg on Thursday, saying that 95 per cent of Oracle's products …
Neil McAllister, 24 Apr 2015

ZOMBIE Google Glass 2 FEEDS ON Italian BRAINS, says specs supremo

Italian eyewear maker Luxottica has been working with Google engineers to come up with a new version of Glass – adding further weight to the suggestion the project isn't truly dead. The ad giant killed off Glass 1.0 sales in January after the unpopular program jumped the tracks. In March, Google's exec chairman Eric Schmidt …
Iain Thomson, 24 Apr 2015

Comcast flees $45bn monster-merger with Time Warner Cable

Comcast has admitted it has given up on its $45bn acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC). Comcast, America's biggest cable giant, announced in the past few hours that it will end the pursuit of its largest rival amid stiff opposition from government watchdogs and other telcos. "Today, we move on," declared Comcast CEO Brian …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Apr 2015
BoxDEV 2015 in San Francisco

Why Box and not SharePoint? 'Everybody doesn't hate us' says Box engineering veep

BoxDEV Box announced a Developer Edition of its cloudy storage service at its developer conference in San Francisco this week. The name is misleading. This is not an edition for test and development, but rather a new type of Box account that lets you provision users within your application. The application calls the Box REST API to …
Tim Anderson, 24 Apr 2015
Shopping trolley. Pic: Mikey, Flickr

Looking for laxatives, miss? Shoppers stalked via smartphone Wi-Fi

The FTC has now settled with a New York startup that stealthily tracks the movements of Americans around stores using their smartphones' Wi-Fi signals. The regulator alleged [PDF] in late 2013 that Nomi Technologies broke the FTC Act by not being totally upfront with shoppers. Nomi's Listen service is used by retail chains to …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Apr 2015

Win 95 code gaffe nearly made Stuxnet Suxnet, say infosec blokes

RSA 2015 [Please see the bootnote on this story, which we've added post-publication. The code shown at the conference does not appear to marry up with the claims made by the speakers. – ed.] Super-worm Stuxnet could have blown its cover and failed its sabotage mission due to a bug that allowed it to spread to ancient Windows boxes, …
Darren Pauli, 24 Apr 2015

Sick of tech bro Silicon Valley? Oakland is building a better tech world – say Oaklanders

It's rare that the politician is the most blunt person in the room, but Oakland's Mayor Libby Schaaf pulled it off on Thursday afternoon at the Vator Splash tech conference in the city. Taking the stage to discuss "when will tech look like America?" the mayor shared her thoughts on how to increase diversity in the tech industry …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Apr 2015