Kieren McCarthy

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed

Facebook crushes Belgian attempt to ban tracking of non-users

The Belgium Privacy Commission has lost its effort to force Facebook to stop tracking non-users of the website when an appeals court ruled it was outside its jurisdiction. Back in November, the social network was ordered by a Belgian court to kill tracking cookies within 48 hours for people not signed up to – or logged into – …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Jun 2016
Crypto fingers

OpenDNSSEC 2.0 out of beta

After a six-year wait, version 2.0 of the OpenDNSSEC security protocol has found its way out of beta. On Wednesday, lead developer at NLnet Labs Berry van Halderen posted files to the first release candidate of the new version, noting that beta testing had revealed "no serious problems" and so there were few changes. DNSSEC …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Jun 2016

Hillary Clinton: My promises to America's tech industry

Hillary Clinton today outlined her policies when it comes to tech – and they are surprisingly good. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee published a lengthy "Initiative on Technology & Innovation" on Tuesday covering a wide range of issues from education to net neutrality. Demonstrating the fact that she – and her …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Jun 2016

Meet the grin reaper: Password manager now snaps login SELFIES

Forget master passwords, literally. Password manager LogmeOnce has come up with a new-ish way to log into websites – selfies. The cloud-based biz told El Reg today it has added a new PhotoLogin option which takes a photo of you and uses it to unlock the services you're trying to access. It works by getting you to take a …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Jun 2016

Chatbot lawyer shreds $2.5m in parking tickets

An "automated lawyer" chatbot service has successfully challenged and overturned more than $2.5m in parking tickets in New York and London, according to its inventor. The Do Not Pay service automatically generates an appeal if people fit the criteria to challenge a parking ticket – all using publicly available information – …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Jun 2016

Big Pharma's trying to kill us, says man with literally millions to lose

Despite having lost its biggest customer, being forced to invalidate thousands of test results, being placed under investigation by the US government for fraud, facing sanctions, having had a testing facility shut down, and having had its CEO's worth cut from $4.5bn to $0, "nothing's gone wrong with Theranos." At least that's …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Jun 2016

We have hit peak Silicon Valley: New crazy goal to disrupt entire cities

Comment Ever wondered what would happen if you gave that stoner dude with the far-out ideas millions of dollars? Well, wonder no more, because like some bad 1980s comedy, we have startup funder Y Combinator's new research arm, YC Research – a venture with reportedly $100m to waste on hare-brained schemes. Just before the weekend, the …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Jun 2016

Time to re-file your patents and trademarks, Britain

Brexit Businesses will likely need to re-file their patents and trademarks in the UK following the Brexit vote, leading intellectual property lawyers have warned. The decision to leave the European Union puts a big question mark over "automatic EU-wide IP protection," says patent law specialist Iain Connor of Pinsent Masons, writing …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Jun 2016
Cut cable

Sliced your submarine cable? Fill in this paperwork

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved new rules that will require companies to report outages in submarine cables. Although submarine cables account for 95 per cent of the US' international internet traffic, as well as voice and data, the rules over reporting outages are weak and in most cases are simply …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Jun 2016
Xerox_Photo_copier

Xerox names new chief

Xerox has named Jeff Jacobson as the CEO of its new copier and printing business after the company splits late this year. Jacobson will take over from Ursula Burns, who said she was stepping aside following the split but would remain as chair. Xerox will become two businesses – its core printing business, which will retain the …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Jun 2016

$70m bid for Rightside

A tussle between two of the largest companies running new internet extensions has broken out, with Donuts offering $70m in cash for part of competitor Rightside. According to a letter from Donuts CEO Paul Stahura, made public on Friday, the company has requested a meeting to discuss a possible purchase of Rightside's generic …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Jun 2016

Nazi witch-hunt ends with fierce judgment

The attempt to dismiss a patent judge from his position – including unsubstantiated claims that he possessed Nazi memorabilia – has led to fierce formal criticism of the president of the European Patent Office (EPO). The EPO's independent Boards of Appeal published a report [PDF] Thursday in which it decided not to dismiss the …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Jun 2016

Surveillance, interrogation and threats: Behind the Nest witch-hunt

Managers at Google-owned Nest threatened their employees, asked co-workers to report on each other, carried out unlawful surveillance of phones and laptops, and unlawfully interrogated staff. That's according to the complaint filed by a former employee at the smart thermostat company with the National Labor Relations Board ( …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Jun 2016

Mobile phone app replaces Congressional TV as Democrats stage sit-in

In an extraordinary intervention of app technology into modern democracy, TV station C-SPAN chose to rebroadcast streaming video from a mobile phone inside Congress during a representatives held protest after its cameras were turned off. Democratic politicians in the House of Representatives decided to stage a sit-in on …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jun 2016

77 per cent ignore company social media policies

An extraordinary 77 per cent of employees simply ignore their company's social media policy, using Facebook, Twitter and other similar services how they wish. That's according to Pew Research, which spoke to just over 2,000 adults in the US, and has written up its findings in a new blog post. The stats show a complex picture …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jun 2016
Max Schrems

Schrems spy case a 'circus'

The activist and lawyer behind a landmark legal case digging into mass surveillance by the US authorities is worried it is rapidly becoming a "circus." Earlier this month, the US government took the unusual step of applying to become an "amicus" in the case that Max Schrems brought against Facebook and which resulted in the …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jun 2016

Open letter from EPO staff pleads with country reps to fire president

Update Tension between staff and management at the European Patent Office (EPO) has descended into open warfare with the publication of an open letter by some staff, calling on the organization's Administrative Council to get rid of its president. The letter, signed by a group calling itself the EPO-FLIER Team, goes through an …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jun 2016

CloudFlare apologizes for Telia screwing you over

Content delivery network CloudFlare has apologized in part for the massive outages its customers experienced yesterday, but placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of Tier 1 provider Telia. In a blog post, the company's Network Engineering Manager Jérôme Fleury put up a post-mortem of the incident – and of an incident a few …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jun 2016
Railway line split. Pic: Ian Sane

Neustar to split in two

Information services company Neustar will split into two separate public companies, it announced Tuesday. The split will see its current security, marketing and related data services put into one company and its traditional order management and numbering services in another. Current CEO Lisa Hook will run the first, and …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jun 2016

Top boffins detail how to save the open internet from breaking itself

Analysis The internet could go one of three paths in the next decade, according to an elite group of policymakers: open and global; unequal and uneven; or dangerous and broken. And the path to righteousness? It's contained in the recommendations of the 140-page report that the grandly named Global Commission on Internet Governance ( …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jun 2016

Supercell bought for $8.6bn

Chinese internet giant Tencent will buy games developer Supercell – best known for the Clash of Clans mobile game – for $8.6bn. Tencent will purchase [PDF] an 84 per cent stake in the game company, valuing the Finnish games company at $10.2bn: an eyebrow-raising figure. The deal is unusual, however, in that it will take place …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jun 2016
Bare knuckle fight, photo via Shutterstock

Netflix picks fight with internet exchange industry

The internet exchange industry is ripping customers off, charging too much for features people don't need, and spending millions on staff salaries, unnecessary marketing and social events. That's according to the vice president of network strategy and architecture for Netflix, David Temkin, who created a stir at a meeting of …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jun 2016

Telia engineer error to blame for massive net outage

Swedish infrastructure company Telia is to blame for a massive internet outage today after an engineer apparently misconfigured a key router and sent all of Europe's traffic to Hong Kong. The Tier 1 network provider is one of fewer than 20 companies that provides a basic foundation for much of the internet. It sent a note to …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jun 2016

Cable box unlock block

US Congress has delayed plans by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to open up the cable set-top box, a decision that critics say will cost US consumers $1.6bn a month. The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a rider in a key budget bill that would require the FCC to carry out additional studies into the plan …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Jun 2016
Burning money, photo via Shutterstock

A month to save digital currency Ethereum?

Digital currency Ethereum may have less than a month to live. In just one day, the currency has plummeted in value by nearly a third after it was revealed one of its main backers had been hacked and $50m worth of "ethers" were moved to a different entity. "An attack has been found and exploited in the DAO [decentralized …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Jun 2016