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Chongqing's segregated footpath

Chinese city creates footpath for smartphone addicts

China's fifth-largest city, Chongqing, has decided to help out smartphone addicts by devoting a chunk of footpath so they never need to look up from their screens as they walk around. As anybody who's collided with a mobe-stroking pedestrian (or, for that matter, anybody who's ruined their Candy Crush score by striding into a …
Spectral map

Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom

UK regulator Ofcom is looking for radio hams' opinions about proposed changes to spectrum and amateur licensing. In exchange for giving up some spectrum, hams are getting access to new spectrum in the 470 kHz and 5 MHz bands that the Ministry of Defence is happy for them to use. Users of that spectrum will have to quit if the …
V

Boffins: Searching for ALIENS is like looking for PIZZA among students

Boffins have warned that humanity may have missed out on finding aliens because we are looking for the wrong signs. A researcher at the University of St Andrews said we could draw closer to “a profound moment for humanity”, if only we followed his rules on how to find life out in deepest space. He warned that the presence of a …
Jasper Hamill, 15 Sep 2014
Sad cloud

China, clouds, to kill data centre tech market growth

China's data centre kit-providers will take two per cent of the global market from current suppliers, according to newly-released Gartner research titled “Four Highly Disruptive Factors Will Challenge the Survival of Incumbent Data Center Market Vendors.” Gartner says China will advance because it is “buoyed by deep resources” …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Sep 2014
First text

New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone

A project that's just landed on github aims to let users in the developing world access Web pages over text messages alone. It's not as absurd an idea as it might first seem, to those of us whose first-world-problems include “how do I delete the U2 album from my iTunes library?” While the number of mobile phones in the world …
Brute Force

Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers

A popular Brazilian newspaper has been hacked by attackers who used code that attacked readers' home routers, says researcher Fioravante Souza of web security outfit Sucuri. Attackers implanted iFrames into the website of Politica Estadao, which, when loaded, began brute force password guessing attacks against users. Souza says …
Darren Pauli, 15 Sep 2014

Netscape plugins about to stop working in Chrome for Mac

Google has let it be known that it will stop working on 32-bit versions of Chrome for Mac OS. In a brief post, The Chocolate Factory says “Unlike on Windows, where Chrome is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit, on Mac, Chrome will only be available in 64-bit with version 39 and after.” There's no explanation for the change but …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Sep 2014
SLAC's battery charging test rig

Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around

US boffins are overturning the understanding of how Li-ion batteries charge, by watching the behaviour of individual molecules as they absorb charges. It's long been assumed that a battery charges fairly uniformly – in other words, that electrons are distributed evenly across the charge-carrying material as the battery charges. …
Ciscoblood

Benioff bails from Borg Board

Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff has decided not to stand for re-election to Cisco's Board of Directors at the company's November annual general meeting. Cisco filed the paperwork to make it happen last Firday, and issued a statement attributed to its own CEO John Chambers to cement the departure. Chambers' statement is as …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Sep 2014
The Antikythera Mechanism

Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces

Archaeologists have set out on another expedition to the Antikythera wreck site, with the aim of finding the missing pieces of the site's famous “ancient computer”. The Antikythera Mechanism is a device which has fascinated the world ever since its discovery in 1901, since it seemed to embody technology far beyond the roughly 60 …
Sorry we're closed

Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer

Phones 4u fell into administration late on Sunday, after carrier EE cut its ties with the UK retailer. The company said in a statement that's EE's "unexpected" decision not to renew its contract with Phones 4u meant the High Street business would be without any mobile network partners. EE's withdrawal from that deal, which runs …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Sep 2014

eBay DROPS DEAD AGAIN - tat bazaar says sorry, scrambles to resurrect site

eBay went titsup earlier today, and the company is now attempting to bring its site back to life. The online tat bazaar coughed to an unexplained technical blunder preventing an unknown number of its subscribers from accessing the site, which many buyers and sellers of used goods enjoy using in their spare time on the weekends …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Sep 2014
Jaws on Blu-ray disc

Stricter shark and manta ray trade rules enforced from today

Vid Manta ray species and five types of shark now have greater protection from international trade, following new measures that were adopted last year. From today, anyone without an adequate permit will be banned from selling meat or fins taken from oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus), scalloped hammerhead shark ( …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Sep 2014
Lego Minecraft

Microsoft's rumoured $2.5bn Minecraft gobble expected on Monday

Microsoft is reportedly planning to spend $2.5bn on the rumoured buyout of Minecraft maker Mojang, with a deal speculatively set for Monday. As The Register noted earlier this week, such an acquisition would be the first big payout for new Redmond chief Satya Nadella. Reuters reported that Microsoft would scoop up the game …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Sep 2014

New Snowden leak: US and Brit spooks 'tap into German telco networks to map end devices'

An NSA and GCHQ surveillance programme - dubbed Treasure Map - grants US and British spooks access to the networks of German telcos such as Deutsche Telekom, according to a new stash of leaked documents from Edward Snowden. Der Spiegel published the latest revelations today. However, Deutsche Telekom reportedly said it had found …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Sep 2014
Regina Egbert, El Reg's virtual news anchor

The week in tech news with cracking coverage from Regina Eggbert

Youtube Video A short stroll through this week's top tech news, with animated anchor Regina Eggbert. Get more in depth knowledge on the Apple, Google and Microsoft stories here, here and here. ® Regina Egbert, El Reg's virtual news anchor
Spin

In a spin: Samsung accuses LG exec of washing machine SABOTAGE

LG's top home appliances exec Jo Seong-jin has been accused of vandalising Samsung washing machines at two stores in Germany during the IFA shindig in Berlin earlier this week. Samsung has reported the matter to Seoul prosecutors to probe the allegations, according to Reuters. The competing South Korean electronic giants came …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Sep 2014

Evil mining firms? Please. Obeying profit motive is KINDER to the environment

Worstall @ the Weekend Goldman Sachs has released a note to investors shouting that this is the end of the iron age. But it's not talking about how pointy bits on spears are now replaced by lead in bullets: rather, that the age when owning a mountain of iron ore was a route to easy billions is over. We don't need your I wouldn't normally bring such …
Tim Worstall, 14 Sep 2014
Pikemen overtaking a bus outside St. Paul's Cathedral, London

'There is no downside – unless you count the total bath you take moving your stuff'

The eXpat Files Welcome to The eXpat Files, a new weekend Reg regular in which we chat to an IT professional who's decided to seek his or her fortune in another land, so you can learn how to follow in their footsteps. This week, we chat with Piers Goodhew, an Australian who spent the last two years working in London, but is about to head home …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Sep 2014
The fashion world’s most privileged urchin lounges in a luxury hotel in Paris, 1993. © Geoff Wilkinson/RexUSA

Weekend reads: A new Poirot, drug-fuelled Champagne Supernovas and The Establishment

Page File El Reg bookworms Mark Diston and Lucy Orr pore over the latest book releases. Owen Jones, author of Chavs , has a pop at the establishment, Maureen Callahan gets right under the skin of the fashion world's excesses in the 1990s, and Sophie Hannah's new work is the supposed "literary event of the year" – a brand new Poirot …
Withings Home camera

Be your own Big Brother: Monitoring your manor, the easy way

Feature If you've ever had the misfortune to be burgled, you'll know how nervous it can make you feel. After my own experience some twenty years ago, it took a long time before I could leave the flat without fretting, and perhaps using my new-fangled mobile phone to call the home computer and check that it was still there to answer the …
Nigel Whitfield, 14 Sep 2014
Photo of a stack of $100 bills

Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say

Banks and credit card providers are paying a hefty price to be part of Apple's new Pay system, unveiled by boss Tim Cook earlier this week. According to the Financial Times, which cited two people familiar with the terms inked between Cupertino and interested parties, 15 cents of a $100 purchase will be pocketed by Apple. As …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Sep 2014
android tongue

Bloat-free, unlocked Moto X to be dubbed 'Pure Edition', says report

Motorola has reportedly named its yet to be released bloat-free, unlocked Moto X the "Pure Edition". According to the Verge, the handset maker is planning to ship the unbranded version of its Moto X model later this month. Some readers might struggle with the concept of "pure", though, given that the device runs on Android. …
Team Register, 13 Sep 2014
Our playmonaut tries out a jetpack, watched by a circling vulture

DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster

Vid Students are working on a test build of a wearable jetpack that could help soldiers run faster on the field of combat. The project dubbed 4MM, or 4 Minute Mile, has been backed by the US defence agency DARPA. It was dreamed up by Arizona State University faculty mentor Jason Kerestes, who built a prototype of the jetpack. He …
Team Register, 13 Sep 2014

Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names

Drag queens are protesting against Facebook's real name policy, after the free content ad network forced them to use their legal names on the service. A number of performers have complained about Facebook's actions after drag queen Sister Roma, who lives in San Francisco and is a member of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Sep 2014
Picard Facepalm

General Motors issues STOP DELIVERY for 2,800 corvettes over defects in 2015 model

General Motors has been forced to recall nearly 3,000 Chevrolet Corvettes, after the giant US car manufacturer said that the vehicles may have air bag defects or brake faults. According to Auto News, around 2,000 corvettes are said to have serious problems with the driver's air bags that could come loose from their steering …
Team Register, 13 Sep 2014
Illustration of an atom

The sound of silence: One excited atom is so quiet that the human ear cannot detect it

Boffins believe they have successfully demonstrated the sound a single atom makes when excited - even though it is completely inaudible to the human ear. The researchers at the University of Columbia and Sweden's Chalmers University of Technology "captured" the very soft sound, according to a paper published in Science journal …
Team Register, 13 Sep 2014
Using a giant machine gun for propulsion

Let XKCD's Randall Munroe satisfy your curiosity in this excerpt from his book, What If

Read an extract of the book that's hit the top of the New York Times and the Sunday Times bestseller lists this weekend - What If: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by XKCD's Randall Munroe. The science-inspiring missive was reviewed by El Reg here, now read Munroe's answer to the question of how much …

Oh noes, fanbois! iPhone 6 Plus shipments 'DELAYED' in the UK

Fanbois in Britain who rushed to buy Apple's iPhone 6 Plus on Friday apparently triggered a delay in shipments. It comes after Cupertino's now well-trodden marketing spiel that demand for its large pocket stroker hit a record number of pre-orders in the US. In Britain, Apple is telling customers shopping via its online store to …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Sep 2014
Stonehenge from the north east

Stonehenge's HUMAN ABATTOIR was just a prehistoric Burning Man hippyfest site

CoTW Comment of the Week: In which Vulture Central's very own backroom gremlins award you, dear readers, the Golden Vulture Dropping of Hilarity and the Wooden Twig of Fail for your inane witterings scintillating nuggets of wisdom. In reverse order this week, we'll be going through those comments which made both us and you laugh, cry …
Gareth Corfield, 13 Sep 2014
Angry woman on mobile

Misery for Virgin Media mobe customers over mysterious 'EE data centre gaffe'

An unknown number of Virgin Media customers, who have been complaining about a shocking mobile service for at least the past fortnight, are being asked to wait for EE to resolve a technical blunder at its data centre. Gripes about new SIM cards that were recently issued by Liberty Global-owned Virgin Media have spiked in recent …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Sep 2014

The Apple Watch and CROTCH RUBBING. How are they related?

Something for the Weekend, Sir? We would know when Peter had scored the night before because he’d walk into the office rubbing his crotch. The “lucky” girl to have been the subject of his special favours would invariably trot in a few paces behind, beaming smugly at her colleagues. These were the 1980s. Today everyone is obsessed with arses – Miley Cyrus’s …
Alistair Dabbs, 13 Sep 2014

Starship Troopers beat Aliens, Robots AND Chuck Norris to WIN in a FIGHT

Weekend Big Data The Big Data has spoken, and has answered the Great Question of pub/water-cooler debate: Who Would Win In A Fight? It doesn't matter just who's fighting who, as our pioneering bigdata analysis included nearly every kind of specfictional protagonist - and surely the readership of the Register contains the greatest repository of …
Lewis Page, 13 Sep 2014
Total Recall outside on Mars scene

Read The Gods of War for every tired cliche you never wanted to see in a sci fi book

Page File Prepare yourself for a book that’s so exactly like a late-90s Steven Seagal movie, it’s uncanny. The Gods of War is every action movie cliché you’ve ever known, carefully caught, collected and pressed between the pages of a book about Earth’s imminent destruction and the prospect of Mars as a lifeboat. There’s something …
Tim Cook as Miss Havisham

Apple's Mr Havisham: Tim Cook says dead Steve Jobs' office has remained untouched

Despite Apple cofounder Steve Jobs being dead nearly three years now, current Apple CEO Tim Cook has left Jobs' fourth-floor office at Apple untouched since his passing, a new interview has revealed. Cook made the revelation during a wide-ranging talk with broadcaster Charlie Rose that will air on the PBS TV network in the US …
Team Register, 13 Sep 2014

Net neutrality fans' joy as '2.3 million email' flood hits US Congress

This week's internet slowdown protest has been, as one might expect, declared a roaring success by its organizers, after US watchdog the FCC was once again forced to change its comment policy under a deluge of opinions. Organizing group BattleForTheNet said 2,039,500 people took part in the September 10th day-long campaign, …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Sep 2014
Rutger Hauer

Super Cali goes ballistic, Uber Pool is bogus: Ride sharing biz is illegal in the state, says regulator

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has warned Lyft, Sidecar, and Uber that their ride-sharing services are technically illegal under the state's licensing laws. All three companies are piloting schemes whereby users can sign up to share a ride to a location and get charged a reduced fee by the driver. But the CPUC …
Iain Thomson, 13 Sep 2014
ipod u2 edition

Not pro Bono: Apple's audio junk mail made spammers' lives easier

Comment Apple's decision to push a new album by Irish boy band U2 into the iCloud libraries of millions isn't just egregious. It arguably plays into the hands of scammers. Without warning, the iPhone maker emitted Songs of Innocence with all the haste of a critical security update after the group's appearance at its Apple Watch and …
John Leyden, 13 Sep 2014
Gartner SSA CC Overall Scores

Gartner ranks upstart trio ahead of EMC, HP and IBM in battle for flash array dominance

Gartner’s thrilling solid-state appliance critical capabilities report ranks three startups ahead of EMC, HP and IBM: SolidFire, Pure Storage and Kaminario. This assessment is not reflected in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for solid-state arrays. While the MQ looks at a company’s overall ability to execute, and its vision, the …
Chris Mellor, 13 Sep 2014
STEREO image of the Sun. Pic: NASA

Sleepy spotless summer Sun's shock solar storm surge stuns scientists

Vid The massive solar storm bathing Earth in radiation this week was a significant event not for its strength, but for its timing, say astronomers. On Wednesday, scientists detected a couple of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) which have been showering our planet, and will continue to do so over the next two days. As the peak of the …
Shaun Nichols, 12 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
twitchpokemon

Beware geeks bearing gifts: Steam-draining nasty spreads via Twitch

Infosec bods are warning of new malware spreading through game-streaming web hit Twitch: the software nasty subverts Steam accounts to drain player's wallets, and could take away all their precious weaponry. eskimo I've got 99 problems but a Twitch ain't one The malware spreads by bombarding users of Twitch's chat feature …
Iain Thomson, 12 Sep 2014