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Gareth Corfield

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Hovercraft propellers. Pic: Reg reader

Fancy that! Craft which float over everything on a cushion of air

Geeks' Guide to Britain Did you know that the word “hovercraft” was once patented? And did you know that Great Britain is a world leader in the design and manufacture of the floaty transporters, and has been for half a century? These and other surprising facts – including that some of the largest commercial hovercraft ever to be used in revenue …
Gareth Corfield, 15 Sep 2017

UK attorney general plans crackdown on 'trial by social media'

The UK's Attorney General is pondering whether to tighten up contempt of court laws and target Facebook and Twitter users who comment about live criminal trials. In a call for evidence made this morning, Jeremy Wright, QC, MP, asked for examples of court cases “in which social media has had an impact” to be forwarded to the …
Gareth Corfield, 15 Sep 2017
Image shows Defence Procurement Minister Harriet Baldwin MP talking at the Type 31e Frigate Launch.

Tech biz must be more export-focused, says defence kit minister

DSEI 2017 Britain should ramp up exports of defence tech wares after Brexit - and this means more than the traditional guns ‘n’ spyware, according to defence procurement minister Harriett Baldwin MP. Speaking at the Defence Security Exhibition International (DSEI) yesterday morning, Baldwin highlighted the Ministry of Defence’s £80m-a- …
Gareth Corfield, 15 Sep 2017
Screengrab Ehang 184 video

Would you get in a one-man quadcopter air taxi?

DSEI 2017 A Chinese company reckons it’s going to test fly a personal drone air taxi in the UK - letting any old bod take to the skies after bonking two buttons in an app. Ehang’s 184 drone is on display at the Defence and Security Exhibition International show in London, as the company’s UK distributors pitch for potential business …
Gareth Corfield, 14 Sep 2017

Drones aren't evil and won't trigger the Rise of the Machines: MoD

The Ministry of Defence has issued a new strategy document for its drones, stating humans will be kept in the decision-making loop – yet critics are unhappy with the questions the doc sidesteps. Joint Doctrine Publication 0-30.2, published at the start of this week, sets out how the British armed forces will use their unmanned …
Gareth Corfield, 14 Sep 2017
A British Army Watchkeeper drone lands at Parc Aberporth. Crown copyright

Yet more British military drones crash, this time into the Irish Sea

Another two Watchkeeper drones crashed in the last year, taking the number of Watchkeepers destroyed in crashes up to four. The two semi-autonomous aircraft, which mainly operate from West Wales Airport at Aberporth, reportedly crashed at some point during the last year, resulting in the 52-strong Watchkeeper fleet being …
Gareth Corfield, 14 Sep 2017
Sharks with frikkin lasers.

Giant frikkin' British laser turret to start zapping stuff next year

The Dragonfire laser cannon consortium has unveiled a fullsize mockup of its shipborne blaster at the Defence and Security Exhibition International arms fair in London. The Dragonfire laser turret mockup at DSEI 2017. Pic: MBDA The £30m Dragonfire laser turret mockup at DSEI 2017 The £30m turret-mounted laser cannon is …
Gareth Corfield, 13 Sep 2017
Happy business people celebrate. Photo by Shutterstock

El Reg is hiring an intern. Here's the lowdown...

Are you pondering a career in technology journalism? We've got good news for you in that case – El Reg is hiring an intern to work on our London newsdesk. Our official advertisement, as approved by the finest minds in Vulture Central, is as follows... The Register, one of Europe’s largest tech publications, is hiring an …
Gareth Corfield, 13 Sep 2017

Uber v Waymo latest: Google spinoff refused access to Uber internal doc hunt details

An American judge has denied Google’s self-driving car offshoot Waymo access to details of how Uber hunted for allegedly stolen documents handed to it by former Waymo employee Anthony Levandowski. The attempt to secure discovery came as part of the long-running American court battle between Waymo – owned by Google daddy …
Gareth Corfield, 12 Sep 2017

Vodafone's IoT boss packs bag, Sprints off to America

Vodafone’s Internet of Things boss Ivo Rook has moved to US telco Sprint, against the background of Voda’s well-publicised slowness to get its commercial IoT networks up and running. Having spent the last seven years at Vodafone, latterly as chief exec of Vodafone’s IoT division, Rook will cross the pond to become senior veep …
Gareth Corfield, 12 Sep 2017
The steering wheel of Bosch's Tesla testbed

Bosch wants crowdsourced data for future connected cars

“It’s all about how to make the car safer and safer,” German engineering firm Bosch told The Register last week as it exhibited its driverless technologies in London. Bosch, best known in the UK for domestic power tools and white goods, has been working on self-driving car technology for a few years now. While nothing that it …
Gareth Corfield, 12 Sep 2017
F-35Bs fly past HMS Queen Elizabeth at Rosyth dockyard, Scotland. Crown copyright

F-35 firmware patches to be rolled out 'like iPhone updates'

Initial software development for the F-35 fighter jet is coming to an end, while future tweaks to the aircraft’s onboard systems will be rolled out like smartphone app updates, according to reports. “Envision a little window that pops up that says, ‘Your latest [electro-optical distributed aperture system] software update is …
Gareth Corfield, 08 Sep 2017
US Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone on display last year (2016) at the Exhibition ILA Berlin Air Show.

France to tack weapons onto spy drones – reports

France is fitting weapons to its fleet of reconnaissance drones, according to reports. French defence minister Florence Parly said the EU nation's six Reaper drones would equipped with weapons, though she did not specify precisely what weapons, by 2020. The drone fleet is reportedly deployed in northwest Africa, being used in …
Gareth Corfield, 06 Sep 2017
Virgin Galactic's

Brit aviation regulator is hiring a space 'n' drones manager

Fancy a crack at bringing space flight to the UK? The Civil Aviation Authority is hiring an innovation manager charged with that plus helping commercialise drone tech – and more. The job description, as posted on the CAA website, says the successful candidate will be tasked with "creating the regulatory environment to …
Gareth Corfield, 06 Sep 2017

Another day, another drone upstart skips the consumer market

A Latvian drone firm taking a punt at both the professional and military markets reckons its new model can stay aloft for five hours and fly for almost 100 miles (160km). Atlas Dynamics, a Riga-based upstart founded two years ago, says its Blue-J drone is "ideally suited for large-scale security and inspection missions" and …
Gareth Corfield, 06 Sep 2017
Air taxi upstart Lilium's proposed design

Flying electric taxi upstart scores $90m from investors

A German startup claiming that an electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft powered by 36 electric fans is the future of personal transport has somehow scored $90m from investors. Lilium, which describes itself as “developing the world’s first all-electric jet aircraft capable of vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL)”, has …
Gareth Corfield, 05 Sep 2017
The Driven consortium is testing driverless car tech on a Ford Mondeo

Futuristic driverless car technology to be trialled on... oh, a Ford Mondeo

Updated A Ford Fusion* has been fitted with autonomous driving technology as part of the Driven consortium's tech trials in Oxford, UK. The consortium – which includes driverless car tech startup Oxbotica, domain registry Nominet, Telefónica and the Atomic Energy Authority – has also fitted a Range Rover Evoque and a Ford Mondeo with …
Gareth Corfield, 05 Sep 2017
Asian hornet face. Pic: Shutterstock

Thousands of hornets swarm over innocent fire service drone

Rise of the Insects A Jersey-based drone was brutally attacked by a swarm of Asian hornets after disturbing a nest thought to contain thousands of the angry insects. The brave drone was attacked by the hornets while being used by the Jersey Fire and Rescue service to locate the creatures' nest. Asian hornets are an invasive species which feeds on …
Gareth Corfield, 04 Sep 2017
Laser weapon aboard USS Ponce

Argentina eyes up laser death cannon testbed warship

Argentina reportedly wants to buy the US Navy’s laser death ray testbed warship, the fearsomely named USS Ponce. According to the Mail on Sunday, the Argentinians are interested in buying the 46-year-old former landing platform (dock) from the American Navy when she is decommissioned next year. “Senior Pentagon sources have …
Gareth Corfield, 04 Sep 2017
Burning a £20 note. Pic: Shutterstock

Smart meters: 'Dog's breakfast' that'll only save you 'a tenner' – report

Smart meters will cost each British household £420 and save people just “a tenner a year”, according to reports. Cost-benefit estimates for the British smart meter programme vary hugely, with figures ranging from modest savings of around £26 a year (as we reported last year) to the Mail on Sunday’s latest guess coming from …
Gareth Corfield, 04 Sep 2017

'Independent' gov law reviewer wants users preemptively identified before they're 'allowed' to use encryption

The UK’s “independent reviewer of terrorism legislation” appears to have gone rogue, saying that encryption should be withheld from people who don’t verify their identities on social media. Max Hill QC is supposedly the reviewer of government laws designed to stop terrorists. His latest statement, carried in tonight’s London …
Gareth Corfield, 01 Sep 2017

Snoops 'n' snitches auditor IPCO gets up and running

The latest agency that audits state spying in the UK, the Investigatory Powers Commission (IPCO), formally started operating today. IPCO is the latest incarnation of the public sector snooping regulator, the body previously having been called the Interception of Communications Commissioner’s Office (IOCCO). In plain English, …
Gareth Corfield, 01 Sep 2017
Metropolitan police image via Shutterstock

Police deny Notting Hill Carnival face recog tech led to wrongful arrest

The Metropolitan Police has denied that use of its dubious facial recognition technology at the Notting Hill Carnival in London led to someone being wrongfully arrested. The Brit force's denial contradicts an observer who spoke to constables operating the facial recognition system on the day. News reports suggested that …
Gareth Corfield, 31 Aug 2017

China claims to have turbine-powered drone carrying 200kg payload

Comment China has claimed it is developing a gas turbine-powered long-range delivery drone that can carry loads of up to 200kg. The Xinhua news agency, which in its English-language form is little better than a propaganda website along the lines of Russia Today, claims that Chinese online retailer has created a drone with a " …
Gareth Corfield, 30 Aug 2017
Harrods. Pic: Shutterstock

Ex-Harrods IT worker pleads guilty to PC repair shop trip

A former Harrods IT worker has pleaded guilty to a charge under the Computer Misuse Act of trying to get a computer repair shop to take his company-issued laptop off the Harrods domain. Pardeep Parmar, of Grove Road, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, in the UK, was accused by Crown prosecutor Marie Olo of having taken the laptop to a …
Gareth Corfield, 30 Aug 2017

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