5th > December > 2013 Archive

Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

NSA collects up to FIVE BILLION mobile phone locations daily

The NSA is maintaining a mobile device tracking program that logs up to five billion updates per day around the world, according to a new report.
Shaun Nichols, 05 Dec 2013

United Nations launches fleet of surveillance drone patrols

The United Nations has for the first time launched drone aircraft as part of its peacekeeping activities.
Shaun Nichols, 05 Dec 2013

Australian political games could see full TPPA treaty revealed

The Greens in Australia are trumpeting a win after a motion was passed in the Senate calling for the federal government to publish any Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement treaty text before Australia signs on the dotted line.

FCC greenlights Verizon buyout of Vodafone

Verizon's plan to acquire all outstanding shares in its US wireless business has been granted the approval of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Shaun Nichols, 05 Dec 2013

Customs cops shutter 700+ domains in global anti-piracy blitz

Customs officers and cops across the globe have teamed up to take down over 700 domains selling pirated goods over the busy Thanksgiving holiday sales weekend.
Phil Muncaster, 05 Dec 2013

Quantum crypto pitches for data centre links

The quantum crypto business is hardly crowded, but ID Quantique is hoping to set itself apart with a 100 Gbps-capable unit.
FCC logo

FCC boss hints at change to neutrality policy

Internet neutrality – the principle that all traffic is equal – may be the official policy of the Federal Communications Commission, but it's also something that new FCC chair Tom Wheeler seems to consider still on the table for discussion.
iPhone in the Lake

Pivotal and CapGemini jump into 'Big Data Lake'

EMC-spawn Pivotal has a new best friend: CapGemini.
Simon Sharwood, 05 Dec 2013
Cat 5 cable

Radio amateurs fret over G.fast interference

As vendors, carriers, politicians, analysts and advocates of all kind queue to offer their support to the emerging G.fast standard, there's one group watching developments with apprehension: radio amateurs.

Microsoft: Anonymous hacktivists DDoSed us? Really?

Microsoft has denied it was affected in any way by a claimed attack against its systems by elements of the rag-tag hacktivist collective Anonymous.
John Leyden, 05 Dec 2013

Microsoft's new partner will TOUCH IT DOWN UNDER

Microsoft and the University of Melbourne have announced they'll spend the next three years working on natural user interface (NUI) technologies at the new “Microsoft Centre for Social Natural User Interface Research”.
Simon Sharwood, 05 Dec 2013
Docomo safety mode warning advert

Japanese mobes to stop punters TXTing themselves under a bus

Japanese carrier Docomo will this week launch a new service designed to help wean customers off that anti-social habit of using their smartphone whilst walking, by effectively blocking the device when used on the move.
Phil Muncaster, 05 Dec 2013
hitahi t7k500 hard disk drive

Consumer disks trump enterprise platters in cloudy reliability study

The chaps at Backblaze have cracked open a spreadsheet and fed it some log files again, this time coming up with the assertion that contrary to expectations hard disks designated as destined for “enterprise” use don't always outlast cheaper kit directed towards everyday punters.
Simon Sharwood, 05 Dec 2013

Hear that? It's the sound of BadBIOS wannabe chatting over air gaps

Computer scientists have brewed up prototype malware that's capable of communicating across air gaps using inaudible sounds.
John Leyden, 05 Dec 2013
Old Bailey Lady Justice

Germany: SAP's software licensee conditions are INVALID

A court in Germany has ruled that terms that software giant SAP stipulated in its software licensing contracts were invalid after finding that they ran contrary to EU copyright principles.
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 Dec 2013
Tegile Zebi chassis

Hybrid flash mutant Tegile: ARRAY with Dell, we say... 100 times

Hybrid flash-disk array tin-meister Tegile claims its hardware has replaced more than a 100 Dell Compellent arrays at customer sites.
Chris Mellor, 05 Dec 2013

Lightning strikes USB bosses: Next-gen jacks will be REVERSIBLE

USB is to get a new, smaller connector that, like Apple’s proprietary Lightning jack, will be reversible.
Tony Smith, 05 Dec 2013

In the cloud storage gateway game? Prepare to be AMAZONED

Jeff Bezos’s big biffing business is building its own cloud storage gateway hardware to get data into Amazon's S3, striking fear and loathing into the hearts of existing storage gateway suppliers.
Chris Mellor, 05 Dec 2013

Oh no, RBS has gone titsup again... but is it JUST BAD LUCK?

Storagebod And here we go again, another IT systems failure at RBS.
StorageBod, 05 Dec 2013
Barack Obama in the Oval Office

Obama's US website woes won't hurt us, says NoSQL Euro chief

MarkLogic's European business chief reckons fallout from US president Obama's online health insurance marketplace won't hinder public sector deals here - and it might even help.
Gavin Clarke, 05 Dec 2013

Brit inventors' GRAVITY POWERED LIGHT ships out after just 1 year

Pics The British-designed Deciwatt gravity-powered lamp is now in production and shipping, a year after the project went public.
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Dec 2013

Branded server vendors: Who ate our lunch?

The overall branded server market may be in continual decline, but there is one area that is flowering - the Original Design Manufacturers building systems directly for cloudy giants such as Amazon and Facebook.
Paul Kunert, 05 Dec 2013
Barack Obama in the Oval Office

NSA sez NO to prez: Spooks ban Obama from using iPhones

US President Barack Obama, a well-known BlackBerry fan, has said that he’s not allowed to have an iPhone for “security reasons”.

IDS finally admits what EVERYONE ELSE already knows: Universal Credit will be late

Work and Pensions Secretary of State Iain Duncan Smith admitted for the first time today that the government's Universal Credit system is unlikely to hit its original 2017 deadline, following costly technology implementation blunders.
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Dec 2013

A private Dell makes sense. Doesn't mean it'll work, though

Opinion So now that Dell the man has spaffed $24bn (with a little help from his friends) on buying back Dell the company, what is Michael D actually going to do with it? And why has he had to take it private in order to do it?
Tim Worstall, 05 Dec 2013

NASA opens its Jupiter photo album to honour Pioneer 10

Pics NASA has opened its photo scrapbook to remember the Pioneer 10 spacecraft, which on 4 December 1973 passed within 130,000km of Jupiter, in the process returning some decidedly non-hi-res snaps.
Lester Haines, 05 Dec 2013
Happy child at Christmas with a tablet

Microsoft 'cautiously optimistic' about Christmas sales

Microsoft is quietly confident it can avoid a repeat of the pantsing it took last Christmas with a triple consumer hit of Windows 8.1, Surface 2 and Xbox One.
Gavin Clarke, 05 Dec 2013

Microsoft: C'mon, you can trust us... look at our gov spook-busting plans

Microsoft has detailed a three-pronged plan to encrypt customer data, improve transparency and fight harder in the courts not to have to hand over your data. The new plan is designed to restore customer trust after revelations of government snooping.
John Leyden, 05 Dec 2013
George Osborne looking like he means it

UK.gov dangles £10m sweetener over bumpkin broadband hopefuls

Autumn Statement 2013 The government plans to slip £10m into the pockets of outfits willing to test alternative ways to bring superfast broadband access to those bits of Blighty left untouched by BT's fibre-to-the-cabinet technology rollout.
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Dec 2013
The Sima de los Huesos hominins lived approximately 400,000 years ago during the Middle Pleistocene

World's OLDEST human DNA found in leg bone – but that's not the only boning going on...

New tests on human bones that were hidden in a Spanish cave for 400,000 years have revealed the oldest human DNA ever sequenced - and thrown boffins’ picture of early evolution into question.
Motorola MotoActv GPS fitness tracker

Bluetooth Smart to tap IPv6-powered Internet of Things after 4.1 upgrade

The brains behind Bluetooth have published a new version of the wireless peripheral specification which will, they claim, enhance the standard’s support for the very low-power gizmos that make up the Internet of Things.
Tony Smith, 05 Dec 2013

Three offers free US roaming, confirms stealth 4G rollout

Is Hutchison’s Three network playing the canniest game of all with its handling of 4G? The UK operator this week expects to move 1 million customers up to LTE by the end of March next year at no extra cost. The strategy is based on only offering upgrades, thereby avoiding “selling in” new punters to 4G-only tariffs.
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Dec 2013

'Copyrighted' Java APIs deserve same protection as HARRY POTTER, Oracle tells court

Oracle has asked an appeals court to decide that it does have copyright protection for its Java APIs, which Google used in the creation of its Android operating system, and thereby revive its billion-dollar suit against the firm.
Apple iOS 7

Sick of losing out to Walmart at Xmas? Apple to price-match iPad Air, iPhone 5c

US Apple stores have begun price-matching the latest models of its mobile phones and fondleslabs.
Team Register, 05 Dec 2013

People's Bank of China bans Bitcoin over 'drugs and guns' trade fears

China has banned its banks from using Bitcoin after warning the cryptocurrency could be used to fund terrorism.
Jasper Hamill, 05 Dec 2013

Apple said to ink deal with China Mobile, adding 760 million potential iPhone customers

Apple has reportedly signed a deal with the world's largest mobile phone service provider, China Mobile, although a conflicting report says that the telco giant is "still negotiating" with Cupertino.
Rik Myslewski, 05 Dec 2013
Disney's Beagle Boys

Google lets users slurp own Gmail, Calendar data

Google just made two of its mainstay cloud services a little less cloudy by giving users the opportunity to export data from the company's infrastructure.
Jack Clark, 05 Dec 2013

eBay chairman: 'Don't make payback a bitch for Anonymous hackers'

In a move likely to negatively affect his board members' blood pressure (and highlight his future media plans), eBay chairman Pierre Omidyar has called on the government to show leniency in the forthcoming trial of the "PayPal 14", who are accused of DDoSing the online payment service.
Iain Thomson, 05 Dec 2013

Send in the clones: Oracle, CentOS catch up to Red Hat Linux 6.5

Now that Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.5 has shipped, here come the derivatives, with both Oracle and CentOS releasing new versions of their respective Red Hat–alike Linux distros.
Neil McAllister, 05 Dec 2013

Apple's 'Smart Dock' patent filing makes Siri your new roommate

Apple has filed a patent for a "Smart Dock" that essentially extends the range and expands the capabilities of its iOS Siri voice recognition, request, and command feature, giving the somewhat dim young thing a greater role in your home life.
Rik Myslewski, 05 Dec 2013
Microsoft campus

Ford says Microsoft CEO target Mulally not going anywhere

The Chairman of the Ford Motor Company said that CEO Alan Mulally will not be leaving the company to take over the same position at Microsoft.
Shaun Nichols, 05 Dec 2013

SHOCK! US House swats trolls, passes patent 'extortion' bill

The US House of Representatives has momentarily put aside its internecine warfare and actually passed a bill aimed at stopping the worst excesses of the patent trolling business, and most of the technology industry is rejoicing at the news.
Iain Thomson, 05 Dec 2013

SHOCK REVELATION: Telstra manages its networks!

Reporting on telcos' role in communications interception is getting very, very, silly.
Simon Sharwood, 05 Dec 2013

Apple bests Dell for first time as preferred US consumer PC choice

Apple is now the preferred choice of US consumers shopping for desktop PCs, according to a nationwide survey of 2,500 "US broadband households" conducted by the research firm Parks Associates.
Rik Myslewski, 05 Dec 2013

Amazon punters get management access controls

Amazon has upgraded the free administration capabilities of its cloud as the company tries to ease management of rented compute and storage resources by multiple people under the same account.
Jack Clark, 05 Dec 2013
Photo of Google Glass version 2

Want to code for Google Glass in C#? Xamarin's got you covered

Cross-platform development tools vendor Xamarin has rolled out new components that allow coders to use its products to build apps for Google Glass.
Neil McAllister, 05 Dec 2013