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Gareth Corfield

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The RAF Saxa Vord radar head under construction. Crown copyright

Russian-monitoring Shetlands radar station was nearly sold off

The Royal Air Force has moved one of its air defence radars onto the northern tip of the Shetland Islands as Cold War-era fears about Russian military movements start warming up again. The AN/TPS 77 radar – which now resides on top of the island of Unst, the most northerly of the Shetland Islands, themselves the most northerly …
Max Schrems

Facebook-basher Schrems raises enough dosh to get his Noyb out

EU-based campaigner Max Schrems – famous for taking Silicon Valley to task over citizens' privacy rights – has set up a non-profit outfit called Noyb, having exceeded a crowdfunding target. Noyb stands for “none of your business," and has, we're told, raised at least 300,000 Euros (£264,000, $373,354) from a Kickstarter …

Morrisons launches bizarre Yorkshire Pudding pizza thing

Giveaway Brit supermarket chain Morrisons has sacked 1,500 middle managers – but fear not, they’ve also vomited out an unholy creation that is part pizza, part Yorkshire pudding. The 6½” thing is made by filling an oversized Yorkie Pud with tomato sauce, cheese and typical pizza toppings. A photo of this strangely alluring monstrosity …

Info Commish offers privacy addicts a 12-step GDPR programme

Data privacy addicts are being urged to take a 12-step programme – by no less than the UK's Information Commissioner's Office. The ICO, which is the Brit government agency responsible for enforcing Britain's rather weak data laws, has issued guidance for companies to seek redemption ahead of the EU GDPR rules coming into force …

Crowdfunding refund judgment doesn't quite open the floodgates

Comment Yesterday's county court ruling that Indiegogo's Ts&Cs weren’t wholly relevant to the question "does a crowdfunding-backed company form a contract of sale with its customers?" won't quite open the floodgates for people who feel they've been ripped off. The decision by District Judge Clarke in the Luton County Court, England, …
Old pound coins in a stack

Crowdfunding small print binned as Retro Computers Ltd loses court refund action

A crowdfunding backer of Retro Computers Ltd has won his court claim for a refund against the Brit company for failing to deliver its promised product. The court, in south England, also ruled that Indiegogo’s terms and conditions were not relevant to the claim. At Luton County Court this morning District Judge Clarke ruled …
Gareth Corfield, 31 Jan 2018

Should ISPs pay to block pirate websites? Supreme Court to decide

BT and EE have appealed to the Supreme Court of the UK against an earlier ruling that made ISPs liable for the costs of blocking copyright infringement websites. The appeal was heard by five judges sitting in the highest court in the land – though half the legal arguments were based on EU regulations and directives. Telco …
Gareth Corfield, 31 Jan 2018
F-35

F-35 flight tests are being delayed by onboard software snafus

F-35 fighter jets are running so many different versions of their core software that a US government watchdog has warned of knock-on delays to flight tests. Core software aboard the Mach 1.6 stealth jet is in such a state of disarray – with aircraft at different US military bases running different versions of it – that the US …
Gareth Corfield, 30 Jan 2018
milk production line. Photo by SHutterstock

Tsk-tsk, fat cat Softcat: Milk-slurping reseller taken to court

London Stock Exchange-listed tech box-shifter Softcat was taken to courts by a Leeds newsagent after the £832m turnover company failed to settle its milk bill. The cream-scooping company, whose gross profits last year were a wallet-bulging £136.3m, was being chased over an unpaid invoice of £840 for its Leeds office. The …
Gareth Corfield, 30 Jan 2018

Thar she blows: Strava heat map shows folk on shipwreck packed with 1,500 tonnes of bombs

People wearing Strava-enabled fitness trackers appear to have been poking around a Thames shipwreck containing nearly 1,500 tonnes of explosives from the Second World War. In addition, other fitness fanatics appear to have been wandering around military training sites – including danger areas used for live-fire tank and …
Gareth Corfield, 29 Jan 2018

PC not dead, Apple single-handedly propping up mobe market, says Gartner

PC shipments will continue sliding south, reckon Gartner’s mystic mages – but, like Monty Python’s Black Knight, they still refuse to lie down and die. Figures from everyone’s favourite analyst haus suggest that shipments of desktop computers will decline from 220 million worldwide in 2016 to 187 million units by 2019. …
Gareth Corfield, 29 Jan 2018

Driverless cars will lead to data-sharing – of the electrical kind

AEV Bill A new amendment to the UK's Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill aims to make it mandatory for electric car charging point operators to transmit power consumption data to Britain's National Grid. The amendment, tabled by transport secretary Chris Grayling, would make it a legal requirement for "charge point data" to be …
Gareth Corfield, 26 Jan 2018
rise_of_the_idiots_nathan_barley_648

Fancy coughing up for a £2,000 'nanodegree' in flying car design?

Comment Udacity has cooked up a £2,000 "nanodegree" that "teaches students how to design their own flying cars". "Are you ready for a future in this transformational field? Apply by February 7, and take your place in the historic inaugural class. You can even earn a special 'Early Adopter' first-term tuition offer!" burbles the online …
Gareth Corfield, 26 Jan 2018
Toilet with smiling loo paper

Virgin Media skulks in disused public toilets

Virgin Media has resorted to hiding in disused public toilets as Britain's demand for ever-fatter pipes to channel digital detritus into the home grows. The Secret Bases website, which normally includes pictures and locations of sneaky-beaky British infrastructure operated by the security services, has now focused on some of …
Gareth Corfield, 26 Jan 2018
Gavin Williamson MP, pictured during his term as Defence Secretary

Non-'fiscally neutral' defence review is go, minister tells MPs

A long-rumoured review of British defence spending will not be "fiscally neutral", Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson told Parliament this morning as he announced that it is going ahead. The review has been split out of an ongoing national security review headed up by the Prime Minister's National Security Adviser …
Gareth Corfield, 25 Jan 2018
Github photo via Shutterstock

GitHub shrugs off drone maker DJI's crypto key DMCA takedown effort

Updated GitHub rejected a DMCA takedown request from Chinese drone-maker DJI after someone forked source code left in the open by a naughty DJI developer, The Register can reveal. This included AES keys permitting decryption of flight control firmware, which could allow drone fliers with technical skills to remove geofencing from the …
Gareth Corfield, 25 Jan 2018
The Doctor from Star Trek: Voyager

NHS outages KO Welsh GP services and Manchester A&E

A data centre glitch has left doctors in Wales unable to access their patients’ details – while a similar outage in Manchester, England, has placed severe strain on hospitals’ accident and emergency departments. Dr Alan Woodall, chairman of GP Survival UK who works from a surgery in Montgomeryshire, mid-Wales, told the Beeb: " …
Gareth Corfield, 24 Jan 2018
france

France gives les citoyens the right to cock up official paperwork

France has reportedly passed a law to allow hapless citizens the right to make admin screwups in their dealings with the state – and not have those mistakes held against them. The new law, part of French president Emmanuel Macron’s manifesto, will allow Frenchmen and women to make mistakes when dealing with the authorities. It …
Gareth Corfield, 24 Jan 2018
Wide angle image makes the moon look much bigger than the earth

Google yanks cash firehose from Lunar X Moonshot comp. The actual Moon shot one

Google has pulled its financial backing from the Lunar X wheeze to get a privately funded spacecraft to the Moon after finally conceding that none of the five entrants were likely to make it there. “We have concluded that no team will make a launch attempt to reach the Moon by the March 31st, 2018 deadline,” said Peter …
Gareth Corfield, 24 Jan 2018
The UK's sole F-35B in flight. Crown copyright

We're cutting F-35 costs, honest, insists jet-builder Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin aims to knock 14 per cent off the cost of Britain's F-35B fighter jets over the next couple of years, the firm's director of business development told The Register. At a press event in London last week, Steve Over told us: "We're currently negotiating [production] lots 12, 13 and 14 to get costs down. Lot 10 [ …
Gareth Corfield, 23 Jan 2018
HUgh hefner and wife crystal harris

Playboy is suing Boing Boing over Imgur centrefold link

Iconic lads' mag Playboy is suing oddball internet culture website Boing Boing for linking to an Imgur archive featuring scans of centrefold models from over the years – a move described by the US Electronic Frontier Foundation as "frankly mystifying". Playboy Entertainment Group filed suit against the business behind Boing …
Gareth Corfield, 22 Jan 2018

Tax Google and Facebook for a job subsidy scheme? Sigh

Comment As British politicians are urged to target Facebook and Google with a new tax and pour the profits into a scheme for funding public interest journalism, it’s worth taking a close look at the vested interests demanding this course of action. At a Society of Editors conference held last week, former Minister of Fun* John …
Gareth Corfield, 22 Jan 2018
Sqn Ldr Andy Edgell, lead RAF test pilot, F-35 trials

F-35 'incomparable' to Harrier jump jet, top test pilot tells El Reg

Interview What's it like to fly an F-35 fighter jet? We interviewed the chief British test pilot about a uniquely British flying technique – and then had a play with a full cockpit simulator to find out for ourselves. Squadron Leader Andy Edgell is the Royal Air Force's top test pilot for the F-35 flight trials programme. A former …
Gareth Corfield, 18 Jan 2018
Yahoo! branded bus

How many Routemaster bus seats would it take to fill Wembley Stadium?

A strong contender has emerged for an addition to The Register Standards Soviet's list of officially approved weights and measures: the Routemaster Fleet. In a tweet yesterday, a secondhand printer cartridge company said: "There were a combined total of 184,064 seats within the Original Routemaster Fleet. That's enough seats …
Gareth Corfield, 18 Jan 2018
The City of London Magistrates' Court. Pic: Chris Dorney/Shutterstock

Former Santander bank manager pleads guilty to computer misuse crimes

Updated A former Santander bank manager has pleaded guilty to £15,000 worth of computer misuse crimes after her boyfriend talked her into giving him illicitly obtained customer information. This morning at the City of London Magistrates' Court in England, Abiola Ajibade, 24, of Martock Court, Consort Road, Southwark, pleaded guilty to …
Gareth Corfield, 17 Jan 2018

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