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Why the chemistry between Hollywood, physics and maths is so hot right now -

El Reg talks to The Theory of Everything producer

Interview Folks in the scientific know like to pick apart movies about science and science fiction, pointing out all the ways in which they don’t embrace real facts and theories. They also love to complain about how nerds are so often portrayed on film the same way, as socially inept weirdos, sweet maybe, but not really taken seriously. And yet, the most likely criticism to be levelled at the two Oscar-worthy movies about scientists this year, The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything, is that they’re not scientific enough.…

(Sat, 20 Dec 2014 12:00:11 GMT)

Alfa Romeo Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde: Fun, but not for all -

Alfa’s wild child goes for a spin

Vulture at the Wheel The Alfa Romeo Giulietta is a car with far too much power. The 240hp from the 1750cc turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine overwhelms the fat tyres, so it struggles for grip and torque steers.…

(Sat, 20 Dec 2014 11:00:07 GMT)

Big Eyes falls short on the big question of popular art -

A funny and moving dig at the patriarchal 1960s

Film review The ingredients are all there for an Oscar-winning film in Big Eyes. Multiple Academy Award nominee Amy Adams and one-time winner Christoph Waltz play Walter and Margaret Keane in a flick based on a true story about pop culture and high art in the 1960s.…

(Sat, 20 Dec 2014 10:00:12 GMT)

Nunslinger, Yosemite For Dummies and Life Inside The Fall -

Mark E Smith, these days, looks a bit like an ET lost in the bookies

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston is joined by Andrew Orlowski to review the pick of publishing this week. A compilation of works from mysterious Stark Houghton tells tall tales of the wild west. Mac users can brush up their skills or get a break from hapless relatives with the latest from Bob LeVitus. And music lovers get a down to earth view of the indie scene from The Fall's bass player Steve Hanley.

(Sat, 20 Dec 2014 09:00:04 GMT)

You have a 'SIMPLE QUESTION'? Well, the answer is NO -

Old man, take a look at my wife

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Old Man by Neil Young

(Sat, 20 Dec 2014 08:00:08 GMT)

Europe: Hold my wine glass, I've got an internet govt to build -

Like ICANN's NetMundial but with an actual goal and without the boycotts

The European Commission has signed a contract to create a system that will gather up the world's policies on governing the internet, and put 'em all under one roof. That way, people can look over them and work out how to best run the 'net.…

(Sat, 20 Dec 2014 07:02:13 GMT)

Kepler's still got it! Space telescope spots SUPER-EARTH 180 light years away -

Damaged 'scope still producing good science

The Kepler space telescope might be damaged goods, but the clever hacks created by NASA's engineers have kept it running and it has spotted a new – if distant – planet that could harbor water, just like Earth.…

(Sat, 20 Dec 2014 01:59:08 GMT)

Heads up! If Tor VANISHES over the weekend, this is why -

Developers warn of swoop plot to cripple privacy network

The Tor Project is warning that its network – used by netizens to mask their identities on the internet – may be knocked offline in the coming days.…

(Sat, 20 Dec 2014 01:33:11 GMT)

If at first you don't succeed ... Fire, Fire again: Amazon mulls smartmobe sequel -

Mobe software tweak released amid Fire Phone Mark II rumor

Amazon hasn't learned its lesson from the thundering belly flop of its Fire Phone, and by some accounts it's even already at work on a second version.…

(Sat, 20 Dec 2014 01:05:54 GMT)

Google sues Mississippi Attorney General 'for doing MPAA's dirty work' -

Turns out Sony's stolen emails weren't all bad news

Google is taking legal action against the Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, claiming he exceeded his authority in suing the search giant over piracy – and taking his cues from the Motion Picture Ass. of America.…

(Sat, 20 Dec 2014 00:23:25 GMT)

Staples comes clean: 1+ million bank cards at risk after hack -

Run for the tills! Run for the tills!

Staples says malware that infected its registers in 115 stores had access to bank card numbers from 1.16 MILLION customers.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 23:40:21 GMT)

Super Cali's futuristic Tesla batt swap focus – even though car tech test is an expected bonus -

Free charge or a fast battery switch – take your pick

Tesla Motors has a Christmas present for a few owners of its Model S all-electric cars, in the form of a pilot program for its new battery-swapping technology beginning in California next week.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 22:55:05 GMT)

ICANN: The TRUTH about that hacker attack on our DNS zone file database -

But vague details raise questions about org's security

The internet's critical IANA body – which allocate IP addresses and manage global DNS – was not compromised by hackers who broke into domain-name overseer ICANN's systems, the organization has stressed.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 21:54:09 GMT)

Sony Pictures hack is Hollywood's 'Snowden moment' say infosec bods -

Keys to sysadmin accounts nicked, abused, it appears

Hackers obtained system administrators' passwords to pull of the mega-hack against Sony Pictures' servers, according to reports. This will come as no surprise to IT professionals.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 21:43:00 GMT)

BlackBerry CEO Chen says to expect profits ... in 2016 -

For now, revenues still spiraling toward drain

In a conference call with financial analysts on Friday, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the firm kept costs under control and even eked out a meager profit in the third quarter of its fiscal 2015, but he couldn't hide that the ailing mobe-maker's revenues continued their steady decline.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 20:56:15 GMT)

T-Mobile US to refund $90m for bogus charges: Un-Carrier to Un-Crammer -

Scram, cram scams, thank you, ma'am

T-Mobile US will pay out $90m to settle cramming allegations raised by the US Federal Trade Commission.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 20:38:19 GMT)

FBI fingers Norks in Sony hack, Obama asks: HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE KOREA? -

Blaming Kim Jong Un is like Saddam's WMDs all over again

The FBI claims to have found evidence linking North Korea with the hackers who ransacked Sony Pictures' servers and dumped gigabytes of sensitive data online.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 19:52:47 GMT)

The Shock of the New: The Register redesign update 4 -

Some changes for your delectation

Readers, thanks for all the feedback. Here's a list of tweaks we rolled out today.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 17:58:46 GMT)

Vulture 2 design hero describes epic 'hobby' project -

Chris Dodd talks spaceplane with The Engineer

It's a traditional SPB tip of the hat today to Vulture 2 spaceplane designer Chris Dodd, who's been chewing the fat with The Engineer about his involvement with the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) project.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 17:23:52 GMT)

Hackney council leaked thousands of locals' data in FoI blunder -

Names, addresses and rental accounts outted in spreadsheet snafu

Thousands of Hackney residents are fuming after their personal information was leaked by the council online in a bungled Freedom of Information request.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 17:03:05 GMT)

Apple v BBC: Fruity firm hits back over Panorama drama -

Guess who's off Tim Cook's Christmas card list

Apple has refuted claims made by the BBC’s Panorama programme that it is not working hard enough to protect the rights of workers.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 15:56:08 GMT)

Windows Server 2003 custom support could cost MILLIONS -

Got a few million tucked under the mattress for Microsoft?

Business leaders who dismissed calls from the IT department to migrate off Windows Server 2003 as nothing more than a maintenance exercise could be left rueing a potentially costly seven-figure financial howler.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 15:04:11 GMT)

UK air traffic bods deny they 'skimped' on IT investment after server mega-fail -

90s kit isn't 'ancient', indignant chief exec tells Parliament

The chief executive of the National Air Traffic Services, Richard Deakin, has denied the body “skimped" on its IT investment after being hauled in front MPs this week to account for its major computer outage.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:57:12 GMT)

Love the cloud? Be a ‘Cloud Hero’ with Microsoft -

Take the challenge, win prizes

Promo Microsoft UK are offering you the chance to bank some ‘Cloud Hero’ kudos along with a raft of prizes in exchange for completing some tasks in Azure.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:00:06 GMT)

Welsh council rapped for covert spying on sick leave worker -

'Incredibly intrusive' use of powers prompts slap from ICO

A council that ordered covert surveillance of a sick employee has been ordered to review its practices following an investigation by data privacy watchdogs.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:38:11 GMT)

Linux 'GRINCH' vuln is AWFUL. Except, er, maybe it isn't -

Securo-bods in bunfight over priv-escalation problem

A dispute has arisen about the seriousness of a vulnerability in Linux, dubbed "Grinch", that supposedly creates a privilege escalation risk.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:21:03 GMT)

Iliad owner coughs €2.3bn for Orange Switzerland -

Telco shopping trip finally bears fruit for French biz bloke

Xavier Niel, the owner of French ISP and mobile phone company Iliad, is buying Orange Switzerland for CHF2.8bn (€2.3bn) from VC Apax Partners.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 11:59:06 GMT)

Merlot and hot dogs: Atos snaps up Xerox's outsourcing biz for $1.05bn -

Plan for world domination based on shrugs and '3-year strategic plan’

French IT services giant Atos has snapped up Xerox's outsourcing biz for $1.05bn (£670m), as it tries to extend its garlic and lemon-infused tentacles across the American market.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 11:41:08 GMT)

Reviewed: LittleBigPlanet 3, Lara Croft's latest raid and more -

Festive family video gaming fun

Game Theory Christmas is all about interacting with people whether you like it or not. If you can’t convince your family to succumb to the new board gaming fad, here are three multiplayer video gaming options you can play as a family or that are more suitable for a younger audience than the forthcoming PC release of GTA V.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 11:22:10 GMT)

Google Tax part 94: EU's H-dot wavers over copyright levy -

Here’s a little number about charging the Choc Factory

EU digi-chief Gunther H-dot Oettinger has been characteristically clear as mud in explaining his plans for copyright reform.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 11:03:11 GMT)

Webcam-snooping spawn of ZeuS hits 150 banks worldwide -

Chthonic exploits Word bug to hijack browsers, steal passwords

The latest evolution of the online bank account raiding Trojan ZeuS is the webcam-spying Chthonic malware, according to researchers.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 10:28:05 GMT)

Armouring up online: Duncan Campbell's chief techie talks crypto with El Reg -

Truecrypt, PGP, GPG - but NEVER Skype

Crypto toolbox, Part I I think I was about 15 or 16 when PGP was making headlines for being classified as munitions by the US government and was (supposedly) banned from export. While I wasn’t a subversive type at the time, I got a very strong sense that any software that scared the mighty USA so badly was something I ought to play with and try to understand – even if I didn’t need it.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 10:02:09 GMT)

Fujitsu’s customers come big data samba dancing -

Get down on the analytics dance floor

Fujitsu is helping its customers get up (and down again) on the big data dance floor and do the analytics samba with an integrated bundle of HW and SW and services called PRIMEFLEX for Hadoop (PfH - our initials) to save customers from any DIY aggro.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 09:28:12 GMT)

VISC-y business: Can Soft Machines keep the free lunch counter open? -

It's a multicore world alright, but the ghost of Transmeta lingers

If the free lunch is over, then few have heeded the end-of-break bell.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 09:01:05 GMT)

Git thee behind me, Git crit security bug! -

Update anything on the desktop that touches GitHub if you want to live

GitHub has acknowledged there's a flaw in its client software and recommended that users upgrade as soon as possible.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 08:29:03 GMT)

Movie industry's evil plan to destroy the internet is going precisely nowhere -

Yes, it would damage the DNS; no, it's not going to happen

As well as finding out that Jennifer Lawrence earns less than her male counterparts, Hollywood studio execs are self-important a-holes and Sony Pictures has a password policy that a baby could break ... it turns out movie giants are also seeking to DESTROY THE INTERNET with a ten-page legal memo.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 08:02:07 GMT)

Judge spanks SCO in ancient ownership of Unix lawsuit -

IBM win means Linux is saved! Again!

IBM has had a win in its long court battle with SCO over just who owns Unix and, by extension, whether Linux is an unauthorised clone.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 07:31:04 GMT)

How much for a wrist job? A tenner normally, but for this one, over $30k -

Tosser alert: Diamond-encrusted Apple gold watch out next summer

The wait is almost over for footballers, Arab oil magnates, the fanbois elite, Croydon-based lottery winners, or anyone else with a money to burn: a diamond-encrusted Apple Watch will hit the shops next year with an eye-popping price tag.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 07:02:10 GMT)

India's heavy launch rocket passes flight test -

Short flight for GSLV Mk-III proves crew-capsule-carrying-chops

India yesterday conducted a successful test of its new GSLV Mk-III X/CARE launch vehicle.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 06:33:07 GMT)

Hack hijacks electric skateboards, dumps hipsters in the gutter -

Automated attacks crash riders on the fly

A hacker duo have shown how to hijack "Boosted" brand electricity-assisted skateboards.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 06:02:11 GMT)

Microsoft fires legal salvo at phone 'tech support' scammers -

Sick callers face fingering from Redmond's revenge

Microsoft has launched its first US lawsuit against companies offering phoney phone support for its products and says it plans further operations in the UK and India to stamp out the scammers.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 05:30:11 GMT)

NBN Co reveals product roadmap and Telstra planning deal -

Hybrid fibre-coax trials to commence in late 2015

NBN Co has updated its product roadmap and Telstra has revealed it will help the company to plan future deployments.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 05:05:42 GMT)

Forget Google's robot cars, now it's on to ANDROID cars -

Next OS to come built into auto dashboards, sources claim

Google is planning a big push into in-car infotainment systems with an upcoming version of Android, sources claim.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 05:04:04 GMT)

Kiwi hacker 'menace' pops home detention tracker cuffs -

Hack unit worn by on-parole crim. Blackmail said crim. Profit

Kiwicon Christchurch bus hacker William Turner has demonstrated how to trick home detention ankle monitors used in New Zealand.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 03:57:04 GMT)

Johnson & Johnson snatches your .baby for $3m -

Don't expect to see anytime soon

Johnson & Johnson has bought the right to .baby domains for $3.1m, beating Google and five other companies.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 03:28:07 GMT)

Woz moves to Oz -

Apple founder moving to Tasmania, aka 'The Apple Isle'

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has become a permanent resident of Australia.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 03:01:04 GMT)

Net Neut: Verizon flips the bird to FCC on peering deal crackdown -

You can't stop us creating web traffic fast-lanes, telco says

Verizon reckons the FCC's net neutrality proposals can not lawfully stop ISPs charging websites big bucks to increase streaming speeds to subscribers.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 02:36:10 GMT)

Microsoft drops early Chrissie pressie on Mac Office fanbois -

Stocking-fillers land for Mac Outlook

Microsoft's not been kind to Office for Mac over the years: since the last major update in 2010 fanbois haven't had much to get excited about.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 01:58:03 GMT)

Red Hat CFO reaches for eject cord after Street-beating performance -

Linux firm ups annual guidance yet again

Red Hat chief financial officer Charlie Peters announced on Wednesday that he's stepping down from the company, even as it reported another quarter of strong earnings that beat even its own guidance.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:56:03 GMT)

Finally kicked that Minecraft habit? Story time! -

Mojang says an epic narrative-mode is in the works

Minecraft's maker says it's working on a new "narrative-driven" follow up to the ultra-addictive world-building game.…

(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:29:03 GMT)