Kieren McCarthy

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Japan showcases really, really fast … whoa, WTF was that?!

For the second time in a week, Japan has smashed speed records, showcasing a really, really fast train outside Tokyo on Tuesday. The maglev monster managed to hit 603KPH (375MPH) on a test track close to Mount Fuji, beating a record it set just days earlier with a run reaching 581km/h. The seven-car Lo Series carried 49 …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Apr 2015

Top US Democrats cry death to Comcast-Time Warner hyper-gobble

Six leading Democrats in the US have written to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Justice (DoJ) asking them to reject the proposed $45.2bn acquisition of Time Warner Cable by Comcast. Senators Franken, Sanders, Markey, Wyden, Warren, and Blumenthal, warn that allowing the deal to go through would …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Apr 2015

BEND OVER, boy! Twitter lockdown to give trolls and bullies a good LICKING

Twitter has gone into full headmaster mode in an effort to cut down on trolling and harassment among its users, generally acknowledged to be rife. A day after it announced that anyone can send you direct messages if you opt in, thus opening the door to harassment, Twitter has come up with several "upgrades" to its system. "We …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Apr 2015

Australia mulls dumping the .com from .com.au – so you can bake URLs like chocolate.gate.au

Australia may ditch the .com in .com.au and offer citizens straight .au domain names following increased competition from the explosion of dot-word addresses. A discussion paper [PDF] published by the .AU Domain Administration (AuDA) puts forward the case for making the aforementioned change. It notes that while it has …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Apr 2015

Tale of 2 cyber-confabs: Govts, nerds on one side. Shock hotel room searches on the other

Analysis Last week, the fourth annual global conference on cybersecurity (GCCS) was held in The Hague in the Netherlands. The two-day conference is put on by a different government each year, starting with the first in London in 2011. It is billed as a place for "representatives from governments, private sector and civil society" to meet …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Apr 2015

Who runs this world? Sony Pictures CEO jokes about getting UK culture minister fired

Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton mulled pulling strings to get UK culture minister Ed Vaizey fired to replace him with the grandson of former prime minister Harold MacMillan. Vaizey, a democratically elected Tory moderniser, oversaw "digital industries" for Britain's Coalition government – from broadband to copyright …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Apr 2015

FCC hit with SEVENTH net neutrality lawsuit

CenturyLink has become the seventh organization to sue the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to dismantle its radical new net neutrality rules. The broadband provider filed a lawsuit against the US regulator in the Washington DC Court of Appeals, and used almost exactly the same language as the first lawsuit to land last …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Apr 2015

Mega fatcat Kim Dotcom in deportation drama over SPEEDING ticket

Mega.co.nz kingpin Kim Dotcom may soon be booted out of New Zealand – because of a speeding ticket. The resilient and colorful entrepreneur is living on the Pacific island having gained residency rights in 2010. But he is also wanted by the US authorities for running the Megaupload file-sharing website, a service Dotcom …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Apr 2015

ICANN banked $60m from dot-word auctions. Just what exactly is it going to spend it all on?

The chairman of ICANN has finally been pushed into revealing his plans for the $60m the domain-name overseer has banked from auctioning off the rights to dot-words. The $60m (£40m) – or $58,819,832 to be precise – was raised from organizations competing to set up registries for new generic top-level domains like .ping ($1.5m), . …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Apr 2015
Bullshit graffiti on side of van in San Francisco

Google drives a tenth of news traffic? That's bull-doodie, to use the technical term

Comment Google has been forced to retract a claim that it only delivers 10 per cent of traffic to news sites after one of those cited – The Guardian – said the figure was "nonsense." The 10 per cent figure was supposed to act as a counter-argument to the European Commission's decision to formally accuse Google of illegally abusing its …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Apr 2015

Yahoo! chief! Marissa! Mayer! stings! Bing! in! ad! bling! fling! win!

Yahoo! is rubbing its hands at the thought of juicing more ad revenue from people using its Bing-powered search engine – after tweaking its 10-year deal with Microsoft. Back in 2009, Yahoo! agreed to use Microsoft's Bing for its web search, allowing the Redmond giant to place ads on results pages. Under the terms of the a …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Apr 2015

Hey, you wanna help run the internet? This power restructure is for YOU

Infogasm The organization that oversees the top level of the internet, ICANN, will be restructured into a true membership-controlled organization under plans drafted this week. That's important because ICANN, right now, has the keys to the web, and the more that can be done to hold it to account, the better. A blueprint for that process …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Apr 2015

Internet kingmakers cry mercy over mad dash to fill global DNS throne

The internet's backstage community is crying for mercy over the work schedule for deciding the fate of IANA – the crucial body that allocates IP addresses and runs the world's DNS for domain-name overseer ICANN. Despite a week-long meeting in Istanbul last month, volunteers designing improvements to the top level of 'net have …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Apr 2015

This open-source personal crypto-key vault wants two things: To make the web safer ... and your donations

An open-source hardware project aimed at making the internet "a little bit safer" needs an influx of cash to continue its work. The Cryptech effort was created following revelations from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden that the US government and its pals are exploiting standards and weak crypto algorithms to gain access to …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Apr 2015

Sinister lobby group (AT&T, Verizon among membership) sues FCC to kill net neut

A powerful US telco lobby group, of which AT&T and Verizon are prominent members, has refiled its lawsuit against the FCC's net neutrality rules. The rules, which will bring internet access providers under stricter regulation, were published in the Federal Register early on Monday – the final step in making them legally …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Apr 2015

Big changes proposed to DNS overseer ICANN

Domain name overseer ICANN is likely to go through a radical reorganization if it wants to be given more control of critical internet functions, currently run under contract from the US government. Two recent papers - one from independent legal experts hired by a group looking into the contract's transitioning, and a second from …
Kieren McCarthy, 03 Apr 2015

We're off to DC! Silicon Valley startups start up law lobbying machine

Analysis Fresh from pressuring politicians in Indiana, Arkansas and Arizona to backtrack on social policy, Silicon Valley is heading to Washington DC to push the startup mindset into public policy discussions. A group of VCs, including Napster founder Sean Parker and big name investor Ron Conway, have set up the Economic Innovation Group …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Apr 2015

You want disruption? Try this: Uber office raided again, staff cuffed

An Uber employee has been arrested for allegedly obstructing a police raid in Amsterdam in the Netherlands earlier today (Thursday). The taxi-booking app is illegal in Euro nation – but the company behind the software has been running the service regardless, earning the ire of not only cabbies but also the authorities. Last …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Apr 2015

Go, daddy, go: GoDaddy shares rocket 30% in value at IPO

GoDaddy has had a successful launch at the New Stock Exchange on Wednesday morning with shares jumping more than 30 per cent, valuing the company at around $6bn. The company dominates the market for internet domain names with just over 30 per cent market share and offers a range of add-on services from security certificates to …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Apr 2015

Bloke faces 25 years in the cooler for upsetting Thai king on Facebook

Setting a record for what may be the most unreasonable jail sentence ever handed down over a Facebook post, a Thailand citizen has started a 25-year stretch behind bars for five pictures deemed insulting to the country's monarchy. Tiensutham Suttijitseranee, a 58-year-old businessman, was convicted in a closed military court …
Kieren McCarthy, 31 Mar 2015

Anti-gay Indiana starts backtracking on hated law after tech pressure

The governor of Indiana is quietly backtracking on a law that threatens to legalize discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people – after growing pressure from tech companies. Business portal Angie's List, which is based in the state, has halted its expansion after the law was passed last week. Its CEO …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Mar 2015

Why Feed.Me.Pizza will never exist: Inside the world of government vetoes and the internet

The world's governments are revealing their egos and priorities by vetoing short domain names. After a row between DNS overseer ICANN and nation states, government officials have been given veto rights over two-letter domain names used with dot-word gTLDs. For example, Italy, which operates .it, doesn't want anyone buying it. …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Mar 2015

$23m to a WordPress biz? Why top-end hosting is big money

Analysis Website hosting may not be the first thing you consider when looking at tech industry growth, but venture capitalists North Bridge are betting different. This week, the investment biz sank $23m (£15.4m) in WP Engine, a hosting company in Austin, Texas, that specializes in the WordPress open-source online publishing software. …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Mar 2015

Apple's Tim Cook and Salesforce's Marc Benioff DECLARE WAR on anti-gay Indiana

Analysis Two high-profile tech CEOs – Apple's Tim Cook and Salesforce's Mark Benioff – have publicly criticized a new Indiana law that legalizes discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. Cook tweeted earlier today: "Apple is open for everyone. We are deeply disappointed in Indiana's new law and calling on …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Mar 2015

Dot-sucks sucks, say lawyers: ICANN urged to kill 'shakedown' now

The intellectual property constituency (IPC) of domain overseer ICANN has formally asked the organization to halt the rollout of the controversial .sucks top-level domain, due to start on Monday. In a letter [PDF] sent from the IPC to ICANN's head of the Global Domains Division, Akram Atallah, the IP lawyers complain that the …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Mar 2015

FCC supremo slams big cable in gridiron Robin Hood metaphor mash-up

Net neutrality Tom Wheeler, the chairman of US broadband regulator the FCC, fresh from no fewer than four Congressional grillings, has given a spirited defense of his radical net neutrality rules. And by spirited defense, we mean, slamming big cable for trying to control the internet. In a keynote at his alma mater, Ohio State University, …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Mar 2015

I see you have the gTLD that goes .ping!

The company behind Ping golf clubs and owner of ping.com has paid domain name overseer ICANN $1.5m for the rights to the top-level domain .ping. The auction pitched it against one other applicant (general registry company Radix) and also included a second internet extension, .srl, which went for $400,000. The suffix "SRL" is …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Mar 2015

Google-gate: 'Toothless' watchdog FTC nibbles furiously on journalists

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has responded to critics in the media who claim the regulator dropped an investigation into Google after buckling under pressure from the White House and the powerful advertising giant. Back in 2012, staff at the US watchdog accused Google of unfairly burying rivals in its search results, among …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Mar 2015

EXPOSED: Google, Obama caught doing it once a week

Google and the White House manage to hook up more than the majority of married couples, having met up once a week for the past five years. That's the latest indicator of the powerful internet giant's worrying cosy relationship with the Obama administration, pulled from logs requested by the Wall Street Journal. The disclosure …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Mar 2015
Github octodex

GitHub ordered to hand over access logs to Uber

GitHub has been ordered to hand over records on some of its users to taxi-booking app Uber after unsuccessfully challenging a subpoena. Last month, Uber announced its driver database had been hacked in May 2014, but it had only noticed in September of that year. Uber discovered that a supposedly secret database access key had …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Mar 2015
Data storage everywhere - CD, DVD, DAT, DCC, HDD, MiniDisc, SSD, SD card, floppy, magnetic stripe, barcode

This is what happens when a judge in New York orders an e-hit on a Chinese software biz

Analysis A New York court has tried to knock DVD ripping software biz Fengtao offline by issuing an injunction against its domain names, social networking accounts and online payment systems. Judge Vernon Broderick ordered [PDF] that dozens of domain names including DVDFab.com, DVDFab.net, DVDFab.jp, DVDFab.de, Ray-ripper.us, Boooya.org …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Mar 2015

Caught on camera: ICANN CEO slams the internet's kingmakers

Vid Video footage has surfaced of ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade slagging off an independent team investigating how the internet's crucial IANA body will be governed in future. Chehade said during breakfast with domain-name industry types: "There is no one today in the CWG [Community Working Group] who even understands how the functions …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Mar 2015
gTLD graphic

First figures in and it doesn't look good for new internet dot-words

Figures on the number of new dot-word domain names renewed after their first time have emerged – and they are not absolutely stellar. More than one in 10 of the listed dot-thing domain names were not renewed. Registry giant Donuts has released two sets of data for the first batch of gTLD addresses it put on sale this time last …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Mar 2015

Tinder swipes right: eBay suit hooked up as new CEO

Dating app maker Tinder has named its new CEO nearly five months after previous boss Sean Rad revealed to Forbes he had been fired. eBay exec Chris Payne will be chief exec at Tinder, which is based in West Hollywood, California. Rad will retain his 10 per cent stake in the company, and his president title, but day-to-day …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Mar 2015
Apple TV

Summer bust-up expected with new Apple TV and Roku coming onstream

The video-streaming market looks set to have a blockbuster summer with new versions of both the Apple TV and the Roku expected to land. Both boxes are currently on their third versions, but it is the fourth generation that is expected to be a huge determiner for the future of the streaming market as more people move away from …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Mar 2015

If you can explain what 'an API management platform' is, you too can be worth $700m

Cloud software company Apigee has filed IPO documents and plans to raise $86m on a total valuation of $700m. The San Jose-based company touts "an API management and predictive analytics platform," whatever that is, and boasts clients including eBay, Adobe, AT&T, Citrix and the BBC. Competitors include giants IBM and Oracle. The …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Mar 2015
An Amazon Prime Air drone

Amazon issued with licence for delivery drone madness

Amazon has been granted a special "experimental airworthiness certificate" by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to test out new drones. The only problem is it's completely useless to the online retailer as it contains a line-of-sight requirement that would make its main aim of delivering packages impossible. It is over two …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Mar 2015

No password or PIN, but I have a fake ID. Sure, take the domain

The world's largest registrar GoDaddy is under fire, after it handed control of a domain name in exchange for no more than a fake ID (and a little bit of good, old-fashioned chutzpah). Despite no knowing the account's PIN or credit card details or having access to its listed email account, GoDaddy handed over login details to …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Mar 2015
gTLD graphic

There's gold in dem hills: 1000s of two-byte domains hit market

More than 20,000 rare two-character domain names have been put onto the open market today by domain registry Rightside. The company has the rights to sell domains under 38 different endings, including .lawyer, .rocks, .band, .social and .ninja, with just over 30 of them live. Having received permission from domain name …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Mar 2015
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

Gigabit web streaming in 2016? Live tests say yes

Gigabit network speeds over your existing internet connection are looking good for early 2016, apparently. That's according to Comcast, whose VP of access architecture addressed the Cable Next-Gen conference in Denver on Tuesday. Jorge Salinger told attendees that the cable giant was already testing the technology in the field …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Mar 2015

Is the DNS' security protocol a waste of everyone's time and money?

Internet security experts are arguing over whether a key protocol for protecting the internet's naming systems should be killed off. DNSSEC was developed in 1994 but it wasn't taken seriously until 2008 when a bug in the domain name system's software made it possible for someone to imitate any server – from websites or email …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Mar 2015

UK government says goodbye sat navs, hello Xbox, e-cigs and Spotify

Sat navs are officially dead. The UK's Office for National Statistics has dropped them from its basket of goods used to calculate inflation - a sad end to a once-leading tech product. "'Sat navs' are being removed from the basket of goods this year, partly because many drivers now navigate using smart phones, but also because …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Mar 2015

Cheers! .Irish drinks to St Patrick's Day

The new internet extension .irish has been launched on annual boozefest celebration of Irish culture, St Patrick's Day. The registry owners are clearly hoping that people will register their own green piece of the internet before the third Guinness kicks in. And the brewer may be one of the first to take part, since the only …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Mar 2015

FCC chair heads into two-week political hazing period

FCC chair Tom Wheeler may have called the passing of net neutrality rules "the proudest day of my public policy career" but he is going to pay for it over the next two weeks. The former lobbyist for the cable and wireless industries will appear in front of no less than five congressional committees in the next two weeks and can …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Mar 2015
gTLD graphic

.Free domains at Amazon while Google says bye to .family

The latest wave of auctions for new internet extensions has produced some interesting results. Google took part in each of the six top-level domains available to the highest bidder, but won just one - dot-PhD - leaving behind dot-free and, surprisingly, dot-tube (although it does own the rights to register domains under .youtube …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Mar 2015
The Doctor in Mummy on the Orient Express

Timeout, Time Lords: ICANN says there is only one kind of doctor

Domain-name overseer ICANN has decided that only one kind of doctor may be allowed online – and that is a medical doctor. In a decision made late last month but challenged on Friday by one of the companies vying for the rights to run the internet registry .doctor, ICANN will insist that all dot-doctor domains be verified as …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Mar 2015
Cryptowall sucks kid

Well.That.Sucks: New rude dot-word sparks outrage

The top-level domain .sucks will launch later this month, sparking a fresh round of controversy over what is rapidly becoming the most notorious internet registry. Even before the current owner, Vox Populi, won the rights to run all .sucks domains in an auction – paying an estimated $3m for the pleasure – the domain was the …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Mar 2015

This ISN'T Net Neutrality. This is Net Google. This is Net Netflix – the FCC's new masters

Part two What is striking about the FCC's rules on net neutrality, released today and likely determining how the United States does internet access for the next decade, is how radical they are. Radical is something that federal agencies rarely achieve because radical in the context of the large machinery of government is often a sign …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Mar 2015

We've read all 400 pages of the FCC's baffling net neutrality rules – here's what YOU need to know

Part one The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has finally published its net neutrality rules this morning, comprising 400 pages of text. It was accompanied by statements from all five commissioners. We read it all so you don't have to. Four hundred pages [PDF] of legalese and formal definitions of an "open internet" in America. It …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Mar 2015

One does not simply ask the inventor of the WWW what he thinks about memes

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, academic, internet activist, and widely acknowledged lovely guy appeared on Reddit earlier today to do an Ask Me Anything (AMA). Here's what he had to say. On security Sir Tim regrets not baking more security into the web when he was developing it at CERN. "I wish we had a …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Mar 2015