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What a flap: SIM swiped from slain stork's GPS tracker used to rack up $2,700 phone bill

A Polish charity is on the hook for 10,000 złoty (£2,010, $2,648) after a tracking device it put on a white stork was stolen in Africa – and its SIM card used to make a ton of expensive phone calls. The nature group Grupa EkoLogiczna attached the GPS device to the back of the bird, named Kajtka, in April 2017 while it spent …
Iain Thomson, 03 Jul 2018

Bankrupt Aussie Hells Angel scoops £750k lottery jackpot

A bankrupt and imprisoned Australian Hells Angel has somehow won a million-dollar lottery ticket. Reginald "Reg" Roberts scooped the AU$1.33m (£749,996) jackpot despite having been remanded in custody thanks to police allegations that he is linked to a plot to illegally import 313kg of crystal meth to South Oz. In addition, …
Gareth Corfield, 03 Jul 2018

RIP Peter Firmin: Clangers creator dies aged 89

Peter Firmin, co-creator of The Clangers, has died aged 89. Firmin also designed the puppet Basil Brush and Bagpuss. A generation of Register readers was educated on space through the popular stop-motion British children's TV show [are you sure? – ed] which was broadcast between 1969 and 1972 (with a one-off in 1974). Firmin …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Jul 2018

Foot lose: Idiot perv's shoe-mounted upskirt vid camera explodes

A pervert in Wisconsin, USA, surrendered himself to the cops after a plan to secretly take photos under women's skirts blew up in his face, er, ankle. The unnamed creep hobbled into the Madison West District police station earlier this week complaining of a foot injury, and seeking to turn himself in. It turns out the bloke's …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jun 2018
Fuel pump

Automated payment machines do NOT work the same all over the world – as I found out

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Mi dispiace, non parlo italiano. This would be easier if I'd been armed with a proper phrase book rather than a single page of everyday expressions at the back of my tourist guide. And it would be more effective if I was trying to communicate with a human. I am, of course, talking to a machine. No one else is around, which …
Alistair Dabbs, 29 Jun 2018

Science fiction legend Harlan Ellison ends his short time on Earth

Obit Harlan Ellison, the legendary science fiction author who kickstarted the 1970s "New Wave" of science fiction has died in his sleep at the age of 84 at his home in Los Angeles. Ellison was one of the giants of the genre, the winner of eight Hugo awards (including an unbeaten record of three short story prizes), four Nebula …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jun 2018
A hipster man with shades claps, saying bravo

Jimmy Hill feted in Shoreditch

Muralwatch Keen fans of Crap Murals were seen heading to Shoreditch this morning, as a new artwork celebrating "two of history's greatest minds" was unveiled. "The enormous 200 square foot mural (that took 52 cans of spray paint to paint) has been created to pay homage to two of history's greatest minds, and to get people thinking 'what …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Jun 2018
Handout police photo of Troy George Skinner

Creep travels half the world to harass online teen gamer… and gets shot by her mom – cops

A New Zealand gamer who flew halfway around the world to confront a 14-year-old girl he met online got more than he bargained for when her mom shot him, according to police. Troy George Skinner, 25, flew from his home in Auckland to Sydney, Australia, took a connecting flight to Los Angeles, USA, then from Los Angeles to …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Jun 2018

UK Foreign Office offers Assange a doctor if he leaves Ecuador embassy

A UK Foreign Office minister has offered cupboard-dwelling WikiLeaker Julian Assange access to medical attention if he leaves Ecuador's London embassy. Sir Alan Duncan told Parliament this afternoon that the British government is "increasingly concerned" about Assange's health. "It is our wish that this can be brought to an …
Gareth Corfield, 26 Jun 2018
Friends with beer watching TV

Great news, cask beer fans: UK shortage of CO2 menaces fizzy crap taking up tap space

A carbon-dioxide shortage in Blighty may rid bars and pubs of that fizzy nonsense taking up the tap space of proper cask beer. [Oy! Some of us like a good lager – ed.] The UK Food and Drink Federation today issued an alert – just in time for the World Cup – that the country was in danger of running out of the CO2 gas that is …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jun 2018
Sunnylvsfjorden Fjord in Norway with a cruise ship

Norwegian tourist board says it can't a-fjord the bad publicity from 'Land of Chlamydia' posters

An ad campaign branding Norway the "Land of Chlamydia" has been slapped down by tourist bosses. The posters, which could easily be mistaken for those plastering the walls of airports, show crystal-blue fjords, snow-capped mountains, lush greenery and even a couple in traditional Norwegian dress. Over the top, one reads: " …
Rebecca Hill, 22 Jun 2018
Jenny Agutter at Byte Night launch

El Reg works with Byte Night to put techies out on the streets

The Register is partnering with Byte Night, the annual tech-heavy sleepout fundraiser for Action for Children, the UK charity which has been caring and sticking up for vulnerable young people for 150 years. So, why don’t you sign up now if you want to do something for vulnerable young people, think you can rough it with the …
Team Register, 22 Jun 2018

Have YOU had your breakfast pint? Boffins confirm cheeky daily tipple is good for you

A major study of Americans has punched another hole in the official British government medical advice that there's no "safe level" of drinking. The cohort study of around 100,000 individuals found that infrequent drinkers and teetotallers had an increased risk of mortality. "Combined risk of cancer or death was lowest in …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jun 2018
Spinal tap 11 volume knob

MSDN unleashes a fresh round of unintentional innuendo bingo

The spirit of Kenneth Williams* is alive and well in the corridors of Redmond, with staffer Raymond Chen detailing some internal Microsoft jargon in a euphemism-heavy MSDN posting. Chen was discussing the problem of getting to grips with jargon that it is assumed everyone knows but which no one thinks to explain. In this …
Richard Speed, 20 Jun 2018
Tired football kid. Photo by Matt Ragen/Shutterstock

Swiss cops will 'tolerate' World Cup rabble-rousers – for 60 minutes

A Swiss police force has decreed that up to an hour of car-horn beeping during the football World Cup will be officially tolerated by the famously pernickety nation. Senior officers in the canton of Vaud have said they will tolerate car horn beeping for up to an hour after World Cup matches so fans can express their “joy or …
Gareth Corfield, 15 Jun 2018
William Shatner plays Captain James Tiberius Kirk on Star Trek: The Original Series (1966-69)

Shatner's solar-powered Bitcoin gambit wouldn't power a deflector shield

Here's a surprise. William Shatner wants cryptocurrency miners to use a solar energy company he represents. Solar Alliance is offering a 3MW solar array* in Murphysboro, Illinois to would-be miners. The retired Canadian actor, 87, has graciously put aside his well-documented disdain of cryptocurrencies to try and attract new …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jun 2018
Sharks with frikkin lasers.

PETA calls for fish friendly Swedish street signage

Today is World Ocean Day! To celebrate, PETA has asked Mayor of Stockholm, Karin Wanngård, to maybe change a street name to something a bit more fish-friendly. Fiskargatan, or "Fisherman's Street" in Södermalm comes in for stick, with the animal rights organisation suggesting that "Fish Are Friends Street" would better, …
Richard Speed, 08 Jun 2018

ICO smites Bible Society, well fines it £100k...

The Information Commissioner's Office has not so much rained fire and brimstone down the British and Foreign Bible Society as drizzled it with a £100,000 fine - after the personal data of 417,000 supporters was put at risk due to a cyber attack. As a result of a ransomware attack in 2016, intruders were able to exploit a …
Kat Hall, 08 Jun 2018

In defence of online ads: The 'net ain't free and you ain't paying

Something for the Weekend, Sir? It's about to get wet. Have some towels ready. Indeed, I anticipate a good soaking this weekend, both inside and out. This is because Friday 8 June has been announced as World Oceans Day. Come on, you know – that famous international day of celebration when we, er, get the day off work? (no) … hold ocean-themed parties? (no …
Alistair Dabbs, 08 Jun 2018
Google salad emoji with and without egg

British egg producers saddened by Google salad emoji update

British egg producers have expressed disappointment at the removal of the oval-shaped favourite from Google's salad emoji. The UX manager for Google emoji Jennifer Daniel confirmed the change in a Tweet. The now egg-free salad is more vegan-friendly, and therefore more inclusive, Daniel explained. There's big talk about …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Jun 2018
Uniqlo Trousers

Japanese fashion puts the oo-er into trousers

In an effort to reinvigorate a flaccid trouser marketplace, a Japanese fashion house has introduced a vaguely horrifying bit of detailing. Ladies and gentlemen, may we present the Wang Flap. Reports began appearing earlier this week of the unlikely-to-catch-on trend of trousers with an external Johnson-holding pouch one can …
Richard Speed, 07 Jun 2018
A man holds in his poo while looking at the toilet

Fingered: Pants-down 'poo jogger' alleged to be corp exec

A corporate exec has resigned from his job after being alleged to be the "poo jogger" of Brisbane, after his neighbours set up a a night vision camera to catch the defecator with his pants down. Douglas Macintosh, 64, is alleged to have befouled a footpath outside an apartment block 30 times in a year. He was charged on 4 June …
Kat Hall, 07 Jun 2018

Tor-forker Joshua Yabut cuffed for armoured personnel carrier joyride

A cryptocurrency developer, occasional infosec researcher, and National Guardsman has been arrested after joyriding an armoured personnel carrier in what some US news sites are calling a “drug-fuelled rampage”. Joshua Yabut, a Virginian National Guard commander, was arrested after allegedly taking an M577 APC for a ride from …
Facepalm2, photo via Shutterstock

Mailshot meltdown as Wessex Water gets sweary about a poor chap called Tom

It's one thing to suspect your work colleagues think you're a bit of an idiot. It is quite another to have it printed and posted to your employer's customers, as an unfortunate chap by the name of Tom Wysocki found. The letter, sent by Brit utilities firm Wessex Water, warned customers about work taking place in their area …
Richard Speed, 06 Jun 2018

Ex-US pres Bill Clinton has written a cyber-attack pulp thriller. With James Patterson. Really

Pop murder mystery scribe James Patterson has teamed up with former US President Bill Clinton to co-author novel about a commander-in-chief going undercover to prevent a catastrophic cyber attack. El Reg's favourite Haxploitation films READ MORE The President is Missing, already half-price on Amazon for £10, has so far …
Kat Hall, 04 Jun 2018
New emoji in unicode 11

You have suffered without red-headed emoji for too long. That changes Tuesday

Brace yourself, world: the Unicode Consortium unleashes version 11.0 of its Emoji and general standard on Tuesday June 5th, and will right the terrible wrong that is the absence of red-headed emoji. Emoji 11.0 of Unicode’s eponymous standard will also add curly hair, white hair and bald heads. Those additions, and red hair, …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Jun 2018

Un-bee-lievable: Two million Swedish bugs stolen in huge sting

Bee thieves have created a buzz in Sweden after two million Apis mellifera were stolen – in what appears to be among the largest stings of its kind in Europe. Oh honey! Oxfordshire abuzz with reports of a MEEELLION bees stolen READ MORE According to the Skånska Dagbladet paper, robbers pinched 50 beehives, as well as bee wax …
Kat Hall, 01 Jun 2018

Platinum partner had 'affair' with my wife – then Oracle screwed me, ex-sales boss claims

A former Oracle regional sales director has sued the American database goliath, claiming he had been fired unlawfully after 13 years of employment for seeking medical treatment under US Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). As described in the initial complaint, plaintiff Timothy Shaulis claimed that he began suffering from a …
Thomas Claburn, 01 Jun 2018

Foolish foodies duped into thinking Greggs salads are posh nosh

Food snobs have been tricked into saying they like Greggs after the British high-street pasty biz went undercover at a London festival. Visitors to the Foodies Festival were fooled into thinking "Gregory And Gregory" was the latest purveyor of gourmet salads by posh signage and smart aprons, complete with geometric leaf logo …
Rebecca Hill, 31 May 2018
In memoriam

Game over: Atari cofounder Ted Dabney dies aged 81

Atari cofounder and co-creator of the legendary Pong, Ted Dabney, has died aged 81 from esophageal cancer. His death was announced yesterday in a brief Facebook post by games historian Leonard Herman, author of the video game history series Phoenix. According to Eurogamer, Dabney was diagnosed with the cancer in late 2017, …
man contemplating /meditating in silhouette against sunset

Church of England will commune with God for you via Amazon's Echo

Technology worship has ascended to a higher spiritual plane with the Church of England now offering the faithful daily voice-activated prayers from Amazon's smart home kit, Echo. Using the new Alexa "skill", believers can ask the CoE for prayers, explanations of the Christian faith and location-based information about local …
Kat Hall, 24 May 2018

Swiss sausage sizzler 4.0 hits 200 bangers per hour

With a bank holiday looming (in the UK and US at least) thoughts are turning to barbecues and the traditional burning-of-the-meat. However, retired Swiss engineer Gabriel Strebel (a man with way too much time on his hands) has put his skills to good use by devising a vaguely terrifying sausage spinner to avoid a blackened …
Richard Speed, 23 May 2018

Boffins: Michael Jackson's tilt was a criminally smooth trick

New research from India into Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal tilt has concluded that, yes, it is physically impossible and dancers should really stop trying to recreate it because Achilles tendon and spinal injuries are not fun. The paper, "How did Michael Jackson challenge our understanding of spine biomechanics?" published …
Richard Speed, 23 May 2018

Hitler 'is dead' declares French prof who gazed at dictator's nashers

A groundbreaking study of toothbrush-tashed Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler's teeth has confirmed that the late, unlamented Fuehrer is still dead – and, more to the point, definitely died in Berlin in April 1945. Hitler's real and false teeth, as found by Russian soldiers storming his bunker at the end of the Second World War, …
Gareth Corfield, 22 May 2018
verity stob portrait

The harbingers of Doomwatch: Quist is quite the quasi-Quatermass

Stob "Plastic-eating bugs [...] could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis," was the Guardian's rather chirpy take on this story, triggering the recollection of a childhood nightmare. I inhaled my mouthful of coffee. The office youngsters couldn't understand my panic. "It's the Doomwatch scenario!", I coughed. "The skies …
Verity Stob, 21 May 2018

Blood spilled from another US high school shooting has yet to dry – and video games are already being blamed

Comment Once again, a mass murderer has opened fire at a school in America – this one is Santa Fe High School in Texas – and video games are already being blamed. Rather than, oh, say, gun control, or the lack thereof. Details are still coming in. The attack happened just a few hours ago. At this stage, it appears nine students and …
Iain Thomson, 18 May 2018

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