Kieren McCarthy

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US Congress oils up, jumps over ropes into DNS wrestling match

Updated The US Congress is trying to insert itself into the transition of the IANA contract from the Department of Commerce to domain-name overseer ICANN. In an amendment that will be put before a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee this week, the legislative branch of the US government will give itself 30 days to …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Jun 2015

Silicon Valley, episode 9: Too sexy for this headline, too sexy...

Recap "I haven't had a girlfriend in, like, three years." "Boyfriend?" "No, I'm not gay. Just… busy." This week's episode of Silicon Valley – the penultimate one of season two – decided the lackluster sex lives of coders was the perfect foil with which to repeatedly stab the floundering Pied Piper as it tries to recovers from yet …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Jun 2015

Apple's HomeKit: So, you know, it exists and all that. Oookay ...

WWDC 2015 Apple didn't so much launch as absent-mindedly punt its HomeKit smart home tech this week at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). In a near two-hour keynote presentation, the Internet of Things hub that Apple hopes will put it in the forefront of the smart house got less than 30 seconds – and a pretty uninteresting …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Jun 2015

Apple brews new News news to peruse - screws news dudes

WWDC 2015 Apple has burned its Newsstand app to the ground, and tried again with a new News application – one that tries to work with all publishers rather than a chosen few. Speaking today at the iOS giant's annual developers conference in San Francisco, Susan Prescott, app product development veep, said News will be added to people's …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Jun 2015
WikiLeaks

Wikileaks publishes TiSA: A secret trade pact between US, Europe and others for big biz pals

Fresh from offering $100,000 to anyone that leaks the still-secret parts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Wikileaks has published large chunks of the related Trade In Services Agreement (TiSA). TiSA is one of a triumvirate of trade treaties being negotiated across the world, except this one does not include the so-called …
Kieren McCarthy, 04 Jun 2015

Dodgy colon bug is a total pain in the butt for Skype users today

Adding a single colon to a web link is enough to kill Skype on your PC, Android and iOS device. Sending the characters http://: in a chat conversation via the software will cause the application to crash, and bomb all over again when restarted as the application will process the chat characters again before you get a chance to …
Kieren McCarthy, 03 Jun 2015

Wall Street watchdog publishes its ultimate rules on Bitcoin biz

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) — the financial regulator for Wall Street — has released its final regulations for Bitcoins. The BitLicense Framework will regulate the use of digital currency in New York and tries to strike a balance between preventing fraud while staying open to innovation in a rapidly …
Kieren McCarthy, 03 Jun 2015

Gamers! Yes, gamers – they'll rescue our streaming Fire TV box, hopes Amazon

Amazon is hoping to crack the streaming media market with a new gaming app that lets you play many of the latest titles for $6.99 a month. GameFly Streaming is available today as an app on the retail giant's Fire TV and lets you rent bundles of games at a time. For example, the "Action Pack" contains seven titles including F.E.A …
Kieren McCarthy, 03 Jun 2015

Oi ICANN, you want the keys to the internet throne room? Open up to Freedom of Info law

A revised version of the Defending Internet Freedom Act has been introduced to US Congress – and its contents are surprising. Last year, Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA) put forward legislation under the same name to cover the proposed transition of the critical IANA contract from the hands of the US government to an as-yet …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Jun 2015

Siri, dim the lights and warm us up: First gizmos for Apple HomeKit love-in emerge

The first smart-home products compatible with Apple's HomeKit remote-control software have been announced – and some are even available to buy. Most are smart-home gizmos already on the market but tweaked to be compatible with HomeKit, which allows iOS 8 iPhones, iPads and iPods to control stuff around the house wirelessly. …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Jun 2015

Chlorine gas horror leak at Apple data center puts five in hospital

A chlorine gas leak at an Apple data center has landed five people in hospital. Emergency crews received a call about 2pm local time from the Apple facility on Startown Road, in Maiden, North Carolina. Local news helicopters captured footage of people being given medical attention and oxygen masks outside the facility. The …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Jun 2015

Silicon Valley, episode 8: Larping, mogging and losing its way

Recap The first season of HBO's sharp, satirical Silicon Valley had just eight episodes. By the measure of last night's show, they should have stuck to that for season two rather than try to punch in an extra two episodes. White Hat/Black Hat felt like the episode pulled together from rejected ideas. And there weren't that many, so we …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Jun 2015

'The Internet of Things is like the Cloud 8 years ago' ... Boss of Dell's new IoT biz spills beans

Dell has created a new "Internet of Things" division, and launched its first product: a $500 gateway designed for industry. "The Internet of Things is like the Cloud was eight years ago," the division's executive director Andy Rhodes told El Reg. What, overhyped? Ambiguous? An obscene cash bandwagon? "There is a lot of buzz," he …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 May 2015

.sucks-gate: How about listening to us the first two times, exasperated FTC tells ICANN

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has responded to questions over the legality of .sucks domain pricing with a three-page "I told you so" letter to domain name overseer ICANN. ICANN is upset that Vox Populi – the company in charge of .sucks – is charging people $2,500 (£1,700) to defensively register dot-sucks domains before …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 May 2015

This $199 home air-quality gizmo will tell you to VOC right off

Pic "Air. It's all around you. Where you live. Where you work. Where you sleep. But what's really in it?" So begins the video outlining an exciting new product, the Awair, that against all probability is actually a real thing, rather than a brilliantly executed spoof. Pronounced "aware" but with the word "air" at the end, this …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 May 2015

Nest rival: Smartmobes will decide who survives the Internet of Stuff war

Interview It's almost impossible to talk to anyone about the internet of things right now without them drawing some kind of connection to the Nest smart thermostat. When we spoke to the CEO of August Smart Lock, he talked about integrating with Nest. The general manager of Sengled USA – a company making smart lightbulbs – likewise. The …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 May 2015

AT&T, Verizon and pals eat own head in effort to kill off net neutrality

Lobbying group USTelecom – AT&T, Verizon etc – has filed a petition against itself in an effort to prevent new net neutrality rules from taking effect. Demonstrating that when it comes to net neutrality, the telco industry loves nothing more than some self-serving hypocrisy, the group wrote in its petition [PDF]: "Unlike all of …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 May 2015

Record labels back indie muso's bid to snatch .music from web giants

In what could prove to be an extraordinary David versus Goliath story, an independent musician may walk away with the highly coveted .music top-level domain, beating off competition from Google, Amazon, and the music industry itself. Constantine Roussos' DotMusic Limited, based in Cyprus, has received the formal backing of the …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 May 2015

Let it go, let it go: How global DNS could survive in the frozen lands outside US control

The plan to move control of the top-level of the internet from the US government to California non-profit ICANN has received broad approval following a month-long public comment period. The group responsible for guiding the fate of the "names" aspect of the critical IANA contract – the bit that oversees the global DNS – has …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 May 2015

Nominet new CEO opens giant can of worms, sticks head in

Despite having claimed the scalp of his predecessor and a former chair – and almost forced a government takeover of the company – the new CEO of .UK registry Nominet, Russell Haworth, will look into how his organization is structured. In just-released minutes [PDF] from a board meeting held last week, Nominet has decided to …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 May 2015

Is your career lacking growth? Become a porn inspector! Hint: It sucks

As Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously said about pornography: "I know it when I see it." What he may not have envisioned was that 50 years later, people would make a living from doing just that. China maintains a pretty stiff censorship regime through its Great Wall of China. But far from using just algorithms to …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 May 2015

City of birth? Why password questions are a terrible idea

Using secret questions to give people access to their passwords is a terrible idea, according to a new paper from Google. A white paper [PDF] called "Secrets, Lies, and Account Recovery: Lessons from the Use of Personal Knowledge Questions at Google" dug into the data of millions of users interactions with a range of password- …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 May 2015
Resignation_videogame_02

404 Boss not found — Bye bye ICANN CEO Chehade

ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade has surprised the internet community by announcing he will step down from the job after just three years in the post. In an announcement on the domain name overlord's website, the organization said that Chehade has "informed the Board he will be concluding his tenure in March 2016 to move into a new career …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 May 2015
Game of Thrones

The Internet of Things becomes the Game of Thrones in standards war

There is an "internet of things" standards war coming and Z-Wave will emerge triumphant, at least according to two of its leading advocates. Despite a number of high-profile setbacks in recent weeks, interim chair of the Z-Wave Alliance Raoul Wijgergangs and Alliance Board member Avi Rosenthal are (as you'd expect) confident …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 May 2015

Google, Twitter search deal: Did micro-blabbing site gag racy tweets to satisfy ad giant?

Comment Google will start displaying real-time tweets on its search pages after a deal was struck with Twitter. The change is currently only in the US and, at the moment at least, only on mobile devices. But in order to have access to its real-time feed Google is seemingly paying Twitter a standard flat licensing fee. If you search on …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 May 2015

Are we looking at the first domain name meme? Neigh

There have been widely varying views over the value of introducing thousands of new internet extensions: some feel it is a long-needed reflection of the actual internet; others that it is a money-grabbing scheme with little real value. But one thing that even the domain name industry has agreed on is that some of the new dot- …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 May 2015

Google sells .car, walks away from generic domain names

Google has sold its rights to all internet addresses ending in ".car" to a joint partnership of two other registry operators. The deal, for an undisclosed sum, confirms what many in the industry have suspected for some time: that the search giant is concentrating on its brand names and is offloading generic names, despite having …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 May 2015

Reach for the popcorn: Obama opens personal presidential Twitter account

Hold on to your hats, Barack Obama has arrived on Twitter in his formal position of President of the United States. The @POTUS account - run by "Dad, husband, and 44th President of the United States" - tweeted earlier this morning and has, so far, managed over half a million followers in an hour or so. Obama follows 65 other …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 May 2015

Roku 3: Probably the best streaming player on the market ... for now, at least

Review Ok, so let's get this out the way quickly: this updated Roku 3 is the best streaming player on the market right now. And it will most likely remain the best on the market until the Roku 4 arrives toward the end of the year. And yes, that includes the Apple TV fourth generation that everyone expects to be this 2015's pant-wetting …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 May 2015

Lightbulbs of the future will come with wireless extenders and speakers

IoT World 2015 There was a lot of clunky technology, standards fretting, evangelizing and platform promotion going on at the Internet of Things World 2015 conference in San Francisco this week, but a few bright ideas. Sengled is a Chinese lightbulb manufacturer based in Shanghai with offices in Europe and the US and it has traditionally sold …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 May 2015

Polygraph.com owner pleads guilty to helping others beat lie detector

A former cop and owner of the website Polygraph.com has pleaded guilty to five charges of obstruction of justice and mail fraud for teaching people how to cheat lie detector tests. Douglas Williams, 69, of Norman, Oklahoma, faces up to 20 years in jail and up to a $250,000 fine for selling polygraph-evasion training to two …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 May 2015

The Internet of Things: a jumbled mess or a jumbled mess?

IoT World 2015 Everyone is excited about the "internet of things" – and by excited, we mean seemingly unable to focus on one thing, not thinking very clearly, and talking excitedly about the same topics over and over again. A panel discussion called "Delivering Smart Buildings in the Home" at the IoT World conference this week helped put some …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 May 2015

Back to the Future: the internet of things as imagined in 1985

IoT World 2015 There's a peculiar thing going on at the Internet of Things World 2015 conference this week. As the buzz around this nebulous concept has reached fever pitch, it seems that dozens of tinkering dads across the US have looked up from their newspaper, exclaimed "my time has come!" rushed down to the basement, and pulled out the box …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 May 2015
Drought

Samsung offers $90,000 if you can fix California's epic drought with tech

IoT World 2015 Samsung is offering prizes of up to US$90,000 to device devs who come up with good ways to tackle the record-setting drought in California – and who are willing to use the its brand-new Artik Internet of Things (IoT) platform to do so. In announcing the competition at IoT World in San Francisco on Tuesday, Samsung chief strategy …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 May 2015
epson moverio

Epson joins Microsoft in underwhelming 3D glasses

IoT World 2015 You may be really looking forward to 3D glasses but based on the latest tech giant's efforts, it may be some time. Today we tried out Epsom Moverio BT-200 smart glasses at IoT World in San Francisco and were left… underwhelmed. Not for the first time either: earlier this month, we tried out Microsoft's Hololens and the earth …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 May 2015

Door keys are an option. It's just a matter of time

IoT World 2015 "In order for any internet of things hardware manufacturer to survive, we can't sell hundreds of thousands of units, we have to sell millions," says Jason Johnson, CEO of smart-lock manufacturer August. After years of talking about the "internet of things", this year CES decided 2015 was actually the year of the internet of …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 May 2015

Ding-dong, the cloud calling: The Ring Video Doorbell

Review If you have ever missed a FedEx delivery and had to drive over to the depot, if you have had someone break into your house, or if you are often a long way from your front door when someone knocks, then you should really consider the Ring doorbell. For $200, it packs a lot in: an HD camera, a high-quality intercom, a motion …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 May 2015

The next Nest? We talk to Ring, the doorbell-come-security system

"You've come here at the absolute worst time," Jamie Siminoff tells us as we enter Ring's headquarters in Santa Monica. On the left are three people unpacking boxes of the company's video doorbell, scanning their MAC addresses as fast as possible, and packing them back up individually to send to customers. The boxes stretch back …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 May 2015

US government asks internet community how long it should extend IANA contract

The US government has asked the internet community how long they think it will take to decide on and implement changes to the top level of the internet, and so how long it will need to extend the current IANA contract. In letters sent to the chairs of the two different groups working on transitioning the critical internet …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 May 2015

A loud, confusing, exciting jumble of the great and the gregarious

Collision 2015 We may have been a few miles from the famous Las Vegas Strip and all the noise and splendor, but there was no shortage of hubbub in the two giant, aircraft-hangar-like pavilions that hosted the Collision techbiz conference this week. It was loud. Loud and busy. Probably too loud and busy. The big stages were shrouded in giant …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 May 2015
Bitcoin is the future of money CC 2.0 by Jonathan Waller https://www.flickr.com/photos/whitez/

The United States' first official BitCoin exchange goes live

The first government-approved BitCoin exchange in the US has gone live. As we predicted last week, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYFDS) has given itBit Trust Company the first charter to be a virtual currency in the world's financial center. NYFDS superintendent Benjamin Lawsky said of the decision: "We …
Kieren McCarthy, 07 May 2015

You've just woken from a 3-year coma. Cloud is everywhere. So how are you gonna make your millions and retire?

Collision 2015 It wasn't that long ago that when you wanted decent software you went to a retail store like Staples and bought a cardboard box with a CD inside. Then slowly we moved to downloading software and now it's hard to imagine anyone carrying a box to a counter when they can sit in their office or at home with a computer and a …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 May 2015

Why don't you rent your electronic wireless doorlock, asks man selling doorlocks

Collision 2015 We should rent our Nest thermostats, Sonos speakers and August smartlocks, according to Jason Johnson, the CEO of internet-of-doorlocks upstart August. Speaking at the Collision conference in Las Vegas earlier today, Johnson bemoaned how difficult it was to get smart tech into the home and challenged the industry to come up with …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 May 2015

Why MakerBot failed – but 3D printing is far from dead

Collision 2015 3D printing posterchild MakerBot moved too fast with untested technology and that's why it was forced to cut 20 per cent of its staff, abolish three divisions and closed three shops. That's according to another 3D printing company whose CEO we spoke to at the Collision conference in Las Vegas this week. Matthew Fiedler of re:3D …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 May 2015

Apathy continues to overwhelm effort to create an internet ungoverned by America

The effort to create a new global internet governance body has been dealt another blow after just 30 people responded to a critical month-long comment period, a third of which were hostile to the program. In total, there were 72 comments to the NetMundial Initiative's proposed "terms of reference" with one third (24) openly …
Kieren McCarthy, 03 May 2015
Spotify

Goldman Sachs gives Spotify its mixtape. And by mixtape, we mean a suitcase with $350m in it

Spotify has reportedly raised $350m in a new round of funding that puts an $8bn valuation on the Swedish company. The bulk of the money, according to CNBC citing "people familiar with the matter," came from clients of Goldman Sachs; the financial giant was hired to find sugar daddies for the website. The valuation puts the music …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 May 2015

How ICANN pressures 'net engineers to give it behind-the-scenes control of the web

Behind-the-scenes efforts by ICANN's lawyers to force the internet community to grant it perpetual control of critical internet functions have been exposed. Citing a cultural default of openness and transparency, negotiation teams from both the regional internet registries (RIRs) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 May 2015
Microsoft's Joe Belfiore, speaking at Build 2015

Who thinks Microsoft Edge SUCKS? Erm, Microsoft

Microsoft relaunched Internet Explorer this week as "Edge" – and the software behemoth appears already prepared to accept that its super new browser may absolutely suck. At the same time as the new name was announced at its Build conference in San Francisco, the Redmond biz instructed brand protection company MarkMonitor to …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Apr 2015

Confidential information exposed over 300 times in ICANN security snafu

Two months after claiming there was "no indication" that confidential information was exposed in a security cock-up, domain name overseer ICANN has admitted it happened on at least 330 occasions. Following an audit of its main customer portal, the organization confirmed what we reported at the start of March: that misconfigured …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Apr 2015

ICANN's bill for clawing global DNS from Uncle Sam: $7m and counting

Domain-name overseer ICANN is failing in two fundamental tasks, according to the US government, while spending millions of dollars of internet users' money trying to take control of the critical IANA technical contract. In a letter sent earlier this month from the Senate's Judiciary Committee to the White House new “IP Czar” …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Apr 2015