Articles about Uk

Handshake

BT and Virgin Media claim 'broadband' tax will cost £1.3bn

Rivals BT and Virgin Media have joined hands to collective moan that a forthcoming hike to business rates will result in tripling of their collective tax bill to £1.3bn over the next five years. The Valuation Office Agency‘s revaluation of business rates will come into force on 1 April 2017. But Virgin and BT complained the …
Kat Hall, 20 Feb 2017
Amazon box tipped over, propped against doorframe. Photo by Jeramey Lende via Shutterstock

UnBrex-pected move: Amazon raises UK workforce to 24,000

Amazon has announced its intention to increase its UK workforce to over 24,000 this year. The company said it would be welcoming an additional 5,000 staff to its UK headcount, with the majority expected to be staffing its warehouse “fulfilment centres” dotted around the nation, although no breakdown was provided. Amazon told …
Pirate ship in Croatia with a hole blown through it. For editorial use only. Photo by shutteretsock/s-mart

Google agrees to break pirates' domination over music searches

UK government-hosted talks spanning two Parliaments have culminated in Google and Bing at last agreeing to tweak their search results in response to copyright-holders' concerns, thereby heading off threatened legislation on their conduct. The code means Google, Bing and other search engines will demote illegal sites from the …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Feb 2017
My Friend Cayla and i-Que robot

Smash up your kid's Bluetooth-connected Cayla 'surveillance' doll, Germany urges parents

Germany's Federal Network Agency, or Bundesnetzagentur, has banned Genesis Toys' Cayla doll as an illegal surveillance device. "Items that conceal cameras or microphones and that are capable of transmitting a signal, and therefore can transmit data without detection, compromise people's privacy," said agency president Jochen …
Thomas Claburn, 17 Feb 2017
Wire wastepaper bin filled with scrunched up paper. Photo by Shutterstock

Round-filed 'paperless' projects: Barriers remain to Blighty's Digital NHS

It was hard to hear UK health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s recent backtracking over his plans for a paperless NHS by 2018, without wondering to what extent digital health documents have contributed to global forest depletion over the last decades. To some extent all tech programmes in the NHS are still overshadowed by the …
Kat Hall, 17 Feb 2017
Official gag photo via Shutterstock

UK Snoopers' Charter gagging order drafted for London Internet Exchange directors

Exclusive London Internet Exchange (LINX) – Europe's major internet traffic hub – faces a growing backlash over changes to its rules that would gag its directors applying secret government orders to monitor networks, under Britain's Investigatory Powers Act. LINX members – hundreds of internet companies – have been given less than two …
Duncan Campbell, 17 Feb 2017
Big cloud photo via Shutterstock

Brit watchdog spanks Microsoft, Amazon, Apple into promising fairer cloud contracts

Amazon, Apple and Microsoft have committed to providing cloud storage users with fairer contracts after a crackdown by the UK's Competition Markets Authority (CMA). The companies are the latest cloud storage providers to improve their terms and conditions following the CMA's review of compliance with consumer law in the sector …
Kat Hall, 17 Feb 2017
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

A webcam is not so much a leering eye as the barrel of a gun

Something for the Weekend, Sir? “Strip it off!” commands a disembodied voice. “We want to see what you’ve got!” Strangers are watching me all across the Internet, waiting for the big reveal. At least, they would be if they could see anything. I have joined a Skype conference that is to be live-streamed to the general public and, subsequently, edited into a …
Alistair Dabbs, 17 Feb 2017
empty_pockets_648

UK recruitment biz Coal Intelligent Technology ceases trading

Contractors and employees at London-based tech recruitment outfit Coal Intelligent Technology may be left out of pocket after the company ceased trading yesterday. A letter from the administrator to contractors seen by the The Register, said the company went into administration on 10 February. It said: "The Administrator is …
Kat Hall, 17 Feb 2017
Graphcore_ResNet_50_graph_extract

What does a complex AI model look like? Here's some Friday eye candy from UK biz Graphcore

Pics Brit chip startup Graphcore has produced sexy images of its graph processing. We wrote about Graphcore scoring $30m A-round funding in October. The processor designer came out of two years in XMOS-incubated stealth mode at that time, and was founded by CEO Nigel Toon and CTO Simon Knowles. XMOS is a fabless semiconductor …
Chris Mellor, 17 Feb 2017
Facebook Lite app

US visitors must hand over Twitter, Facebook handles by law – newbie Rep starts ball rolling

A newbie congressman has floated his first ever US law bill – one that demands visitors to America hand over URLs to their social network accounts. House Rep Jim Banks (R-IN) says his proposed rules – dubbed the Visa Investigation and Social Media Act (VISA) of 2017 – require visa applicants to provide their social media …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Feb 2017

Sigfox leads with its chin on security for internet-connected things

Comment French Internet of Things bods Sigfox have published a “Universal Declaration of IoT Rights”, which, as well as being a bit awful, sheds light on a wider boredom with proper security. Hopefully published tongue-in-cheek, the declaration was written by Sigfox’s “vice president imagineering” (not a typo), opening: “We have a …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Feb 2017
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft ups Surface slab prices for Brits. Darn weak pound, eh?

Microsoft has increased hardware prices in the UK for a second time this year, citing the decreased value of the weaker sterling currency when repatriated as dollars. Its top-of-the-line Surface Book will today set users back a whopping £3,049, £400 more than it would have cost if purchased yesterday. Price increases across …

Virgin Media swallows 215,000 new fibre customers in Blighty

Revenue at Virgin Media rose 1 per cent to £1,227m for its fourth quarter results, with the firm having also signed up 215,000 more users to its £3bn Project Lighting network expansion. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose 8 per cent to £583m in its preliminary results today. Virgin Media now has …
Kat Hall, 16 Feb 2017
Parliament photo by Shutterstock

Identity disorder: Does UK govt need Verify more than we do?

Comment One problem writing about government IT is that after a while it feels a bit like Groundhog Day – a syndrome that must be even more pronounced for the folk working in it. Six years ago I remember clearly being walked through the reasons why the British government needed an online identification tool to enable citizens to use …
Kat Hall, 16 Feb 2017
Green data centre

Data centre locations: In the city or up the country?

Promo The obvious difference between using a data centre in the city centre compared to the country is cost, but other factors such as proximity to fibre connections, accessibility, security and just plain convenience, might well lure you back to the centre. Let’s help you decide whether you’d prefer your infrastructure to be uptown, …
David Gordon, 16 Feb 2017

As Microsoft touts Windows Insider for biz, let's take a look at W10's broken 2FA logins

For months now, the Windows 10 Anniversary Update has broken two-factor logins using certain smart cards – and Microsoft has refused to discuss it. According to Reg readers writing in, and W10 users on support forums, folks who have Yubikey two-factor authentication gadgets have been hitting frustrating error messages when …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Feb 2017

Rasputin whips out large intimidating tool, penetrates uni, city, govt databases – new claim

A Russian-speaking miscreant dubbed "Rasputin," who potentially hacked into the US Election Assistance Commission and sold access to its systems, has struck again, it is claimed. Rasputin has allegedly infiltrated database servers within 60 organizations, US government agencies, and international universities. These victims …
John Leyden, 15 Feb 2017

UK credit broker fined £120k for spamming folk with five million texts

Updated A UK credit broker has been fined £120,000 for sending more than five million unlawful text messages. Digitonomy besieged customers with unsolicited loan offers, prompting 1,464 complaints from privacy-conscious consumers between April 2015 and February 2016. An investigation by data privacy watchdogs at the Information …
John Leyden, 15 Feb 2017
Surpised man mobile phone photo by Shutterstock

Hold the phone! Crap customer service cost telcos £2.9 BEEEELLION in 2016

Shoddy customer service is costing telcos £2.9bn per year, making the sector the second most moaned about, according to the Ombudsman Services. Annual research by the complaints mediation service found that the total number of grievances registered by consumers in 2016 was 55 million, up 3 million from 2015. Of those, 13 per …
Kat Hall, 15 Feb 2017
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

Hutchison's 3UK and Google push 3.5 GHz on both sides of the pond

Analysis Some are talking about 3.5 GHz as a 5G band, but Hutchison’s deal to acquire UK Broadband to bolster its 3UK arm is all about the good old fight for LTE spectrum. This deal shows that it is not just the US’s opening of its 3.5 GHz band, via its CBRS scheme, that has thrust this spectrum into the limelight. In many parts of the …
Wireless Watch, 15 Feb 2017

Cheer up, pal: UK mobe networks are now 8% less crap, tests show

Real-world mobile network performance monitor RootMetrics reckons the reliability of the UK’s mobile networks improved eight per cent in the last six months of 2016. RootMetrics tests network performance on roads and some 1,000 indoor locations, and the data is based on over 800,000 data samples. Vodafone was the most …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Feb 2017
Confide for Android screenshot

Inside Confide, the chat app 'secretly used by Trump aides': OpenPGP, OpenSSL, and more

Rumors that President Donald Trump's aides are using an encrypted messaging app called Confide has landed the software firmly in the spotlight – and under the security microscope. The Washington Post on Monday mentioned that Confide, built by a startup in New York City, is used by some White House staffers to gossip in private …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Feb 2017

'We need a new Geneva Convention to protect all citizens from snoops'

RSA USA In 1949, the world’s nations came together to sign the Geneva Conventions, according respect in times of war to civilians, soldiers incapable of fighting, and prisoners of war. Now we need to go back and do the same for civilians caught up in online conflict, according to Microsoft. In a keynote at this year's RSA USA …
Iain Thomson, 14 Feb 2017
Metropolitan police image via Shutterstock

Commissioner kisses Met goodbye, says it's set to be 'best digital police force'

Outgoing London Met police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe claims to be leaving the service on track to be the "best digital police" force with the arrival of long-awaited smart devices this summer. In his valedictory speech on Valentine's Day at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, he said the …
Kat Hall, 14 Feb 2017
Heart falls into crack. Photo by Shutterstock

UK website data insecurity worries: Users in bits over car break-up emails

Updated Popular car parts website PartsGateway.co.uk is dangerously insecure, a veteran UK security consultant warns. The warning from Paul Moore comes in the midst of ongoing social media complaints (example here) by customers who say they have received phishing mails containing personal addresses and phone numbers. One of the users …
John Leyden, 14 Feb 2017
HMRC photo via Shutterstock

Roses are red, violets are blue, HMRC confirms Verify can STFU

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has confirmed that it's ditching the Cabinet Office's new online ID system, and will be pushing forwards with its own replacement for Government Gateway. Sources previously informed The Register that HMRC was been building its own online authentication portal following the planned …
Graphene photo via Shutterstock

GRAPHENE: £120m down, UK.gov finds it's still a long way from commercial potential

Graphene, the material with many extraordinary properties, has swallowed around £120m in UK government funds, but development and commercialisation is proving tortuously slow and increasingly dogged with disappointment. So concerned are MPs with the lack of progress that late last year they conducted a series of hearings via …
Marcus Gibson, 14 Feb 2017
Passport

The Register's guide to protecting your data when visiting the US

Getting into America can be tricky at the moment if you have the wrong skin color or the wrong surname. Even though President Donald Trump's crackdown on refugees and Muslim immigrants has been put on hold by the courts, US border officials have got the message: now's the time to make life difficult for some people entering …
Iain Thomson, 14 Feb 2017

Roses are red, violets are blue, fake-news-detecting AI is fake news, too

Analysis The viral spread of fake news and “alternative facts” has rocked Western politics. Oxford Dictionaries chose “post-truth” as its word of 2016, and when a society is scolded by a dictionary wielding a hyphenated word, you know you've collectively screwed up. “The concept of post-truth has been in existence for the past decade, …
Katyanna Quach, 14 Feb 2017

Roses are red, you're over the moon, 'cos you work in infosec, and you're retiring soon

The UK's aging cybersecurity workforce is approaching a "retirement cliff edge," according to a new survey. Only six per cent of UK companies are recruiting graduates, while 66 per cent already have a cybersecurity skills shortage due to being unable to find qualified personnel, according to a poll by cybersecurity …
John Leyden, 14 Feb 2017
Robert Wood

IT bosses: Get budgets for better security by rating threats on a scale of zero to Yahoo!

BSides SF What do you reckon US government regulations on computer security look like? If you selected outdated, contradictory and avoidable, congrats, you're an industry veteran – or you were paying attention to a talk this morning at the BSidesSF 2017 infosec conference. In a presentation titled "Swimming upstream: regulation vs …
Iain Thomson, 13 Feb 2017
Image by IfH http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-1288723p1.html

Bloke, 27, arrested, tech gear seized by cops over UK Sports Direct hack

Exclusive A 27-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the hacking of Sports Direct's internal website for employees, The Register can reveal. The man, who has not been identified, was cuffed on suspicion of computer misuse offences amid an investigation into the attack on the UK's largest sports retail business last September …
spies_648

Russia and China bombard Blighty with 188 cyberattacks in 3 months

Britain has been hit by 188 "high-level attacks" in the last three months. Some of these attempts include Russian state-sponsored hackers trying to steal defence and foreign policy secrets, according to the UK's newly appointed National Cyber Security Centre chief Ciaran Martin. Russian and Chinese attacks on defence and …
John Leyden, 13 Feb 2017
Hensinger_Quantum_computer_design_part

UK prof claims to have first practical blueprint of a quantum computer

A professor at the University of Sussex says he has the first practical blueprint for a quantum computer capable of solving problems that could take billions of years for a classical computer to compute. Oh yeah? A quantum computer (QC) uses qubits instead of classic binary digits, and each qubit is in a quantum state between …
Chris Mellor, 13 Feb 2017

2009 IBM: Teleworking will save the WORLD! 2017 IBM: Get back to the office or else

Remote working might be a dirty word among senior IBMers these days but it wasn't always so: teleworking, Big Blue once claimed, would help heal a global economy suffering aftershocks of the banking meltdown, and it might even play a part in planetary salvation. As El Reg exclusively revealed last week, IBM is following the …
Paul Kunert, 13 Feb 2017
Light bulb photo via Shutterstock

Sales 'smasher' Simon Niesler lands role as SAP UK cloud supremo

SAP has moved the UK corporate brass in a move that could propel cloud sales, The Reg has learned. The giant, which in January adjusted its existing 2020 full-year cloud sales target, has appointed an internal rising star to lead all UK cloud sales. Simon Niesler has become vice president of UK cloud, a role spanning HANA …
Gavin Clarke, 13 Feb 2017
Traditional lattice pylons in the UK countryside

As South Australia blacked out, PM's office was told renewable power was not to blame

Following last year's megastorm and blackout in South Australia, Vulture South opined that the events had nothing to do with the state's use of wind power. Now, a freedom of information release reveals the government was advised to that effect before ministers started to cast blame. Left-of-centre think tank the Australia …
Prison

Crims in £160m broadband scam facing 44 years of porridge

Four men, who conned Barclays Bank and Belgian banking group KBC out of £160m in a super fast broadband scam, have today been sentenced to a collective 44 years in the clink. The individuals presented bogus broadband contracts to the banks, which were tricked into issuing huge loans to H20 Networks through Total Asset Finance …
Kat Hall, 10 Feb 2017
A crying child

Soz telcos you're 'low priority' post-Brexit, says leaked gov doc

Telcos have been identified as a "low-priority" sector in Theresa May's brave new post-Brexit Britain, according to a list of industries compiled by the government which ranks them in order of importance. The high-priority industries include pharmaceuticals, car manufacture, textiles and clothing, and aerospace and air …
Kat Hall, 10 Feb 2017
Peter Sage, motivational speaker, giving a TEDx talk

Alleged HPE fraud man Peter Sage once ran dodgy pharma biz

Peter Sage, the jailed motivational speaker accused by Hewlett Packard Enterprise of perpetrating a $17.5m fraud against them, once ran a company which claimed “‘traditional' pharmaceuticals simply intoxicate your body”. Sage was imprisoned in January for 18 months after the High Court in London, UK, ruled he had committed …
Gareth Corfield, 10 Feb 2017
Engineer aboard Das Boot U-96 responds to telegraphs

All of Blighty's attack submarines are out of action – report

None of the Royal Navy's seven attack submarines are deployed on operations at the moment, according to reports, which potentially threatens the security of Britain's nuclear deterrent. The Sun reported this morning that six of the seven boats are in maintenance – except for the seventh, HMS Astute, which is still undergoing …
Gareth Corfield, 10 Feb 2017
Handcuffs photo via Shutterstock

Planned Espionage Act could jail journos and whistleblowers as spies

Exclusive Proposals in the UK for a swingeing new Espionage Act that could jail journalists as spies have been developed in haste by legal advisors, The Register has learned. The proposed law update is an attempt to ban reporting of future big data leaks. The British government has received recommendations for a "future-proofed" new …
Duncan Campbell, 10 Feb 2017

Brexit could further harm woeful rural payments system

Brexit could further exacerbate the woeful IT track record of farmers receiving rural payments from the UK government, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has warned. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) provides direct financial support to farmers primarily through the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), which accounts for around 80 …
Kat Hall, 10 Feb 2017
CCTV camera trained on a garden. Photo by Shutterstock

Scottish court issues damages to couple over distress caused by neighbour's use of CCTV

A Scottish couple have been awarded damages of more than £17,000 in total for the "extreme stress" they suffered as a result of the "highly intrusive" use of CCTV systems by the owner of a neighbouring property. Debbie and Tony Woolley were awarded £8,634 each after Sheriff Ross, in a ruling issued at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Feb 2017

Cardiff researchers get £250k to monitor Brexit hate crime on Twitter

Cardiff University's Social Data Science Lab has been awarded a £250,000 grant to set up a centre to monitor “Brexit-related hate crime” on Twitter. The lab – based in Wales, UK, and dubbed the Centre for Cyberhate Research and Policy – will develop “a monitoring tool that displays a live feed of the propagation of hate speech …
Parliament photo by Shutterstock

That's cute. AI and IoT need 'ethics regulation', mumbles Lib Dem baron

A Liberal Democrat peer has suggested that the Internet of Things needs government regulation in the UK. Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Baron Timothy Clement-Jones said that artificial intelligence, as well as IoT, needs "huge consideration" of its "ethics". "It may be that we need to construct a purpose-built regulator …
Gareth Corfield, 09 Feb 2017
editorial only image of Whitehall. Pic Daniel Gale/Shutterstock

Brought to you by UK.gov: 'Most ambitious programme of change of any government anywhere in the world'

Cabinet Office minister Ben Gummer has today unveiled the government’s long-delayed digital strategy, calling it "the most ambitious programme of change of any government anywhere in the world”. He was speaking at think-tank Reform's annual conference. The Government Transformation Strategy was intended to be launched at the …
Kat Hall, 09 Feb 2017
RAF F-35B ZM137, visiting the UK in 2016. Crown copyright

USMC: We want more F-35s per year than you Limeys will get in half a decade

The head of US Marine Corps aviation wants to buy more F-35Bs per year than the UK will receive in the next five. At a press conference yesterday, Lieutenant General Jon Davis, USMC deputy commandant for aviation, said he wants the service to increase its purchase rate to 37 F-35Bs per year. Under current plans, the USMC …
Gareth Corfield, 09 Feb 2017
dumb_and_dumber_648

Mag publisher Future stored your FileSilo passwords in plaintext. Then hackers hit

UK magazine publisher Future's FileSilo website has been raided by hackers, who have made off with, among other information, unencrypted user account passwords. FileSilo.co.uk is a website Future's mag subscribers can log into to download materials, such as Photoshop templates and graphics, for tutorials published in its print …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Feb 2017