Kieren McCarthy

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Bookshelf in the British Library basement

E-books the same as printed ones, says top Euro court egghead

In a seemingly commonsense but important decision, the top advisor of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has decided that electronic books (e‑books) are legally equivalent to their printed versions when it comes to lending them through libraries. In an opinion released [PDF] Thursday, Advocate General Maciej Szpunar said e‑ …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Jun 2016
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Twitter European boss exits

The managing director of Twitter's European office has quit. Stephen McIntyre is based in Dublin and is heading off to become a partner in VC firm Frontline Ventures. Calling it a "tough decision" in a blog post, McIntyre noted that "after a decade at US multinationals, I'm ready for something new." He was at Google before …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Jun 2016

EPO president caught threatening independent appeal board

President of the European Patent Office (EPO), Benoit Battistelli, has been caught threatening an independent appeals board looking into the case of a judge he summarily dismissed. In an extraordinary turn of events in Munich this week, a planned public hearing of the organization's "Enlarged Board of Appeal" was abandoned …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jun 2016

Spam King sent down for 30 months

The self-proclaimed "Spam King," Sanford Wallace, has been given a 30-month jail sentence, a fine of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and five years' probation. The 47 year old pled guilty back in August to sending more than a half-million spam messages through Facebook in violation of a court order that prevented him from …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jun 2016
AI Robot viewed from the back against an arty landscape. Pic via SHuttertock

Apple struggles with the idea of intelligent life outside Cupertino

In the age-old tech struggle between open and controlled systems, Apple has realized that when it comes to artificial intelligence, it needs to edge toward open. The computer giant has announced it will be opening up its digital assistant Siri to third-party apps and at the same time has put out an API to its artificial …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Jun 2016

Apple quietly launches next-gen encrypted file system

It didn't get any airtime at the big opening day of the annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), but excitement is building around Apple's next-generation file system. Early specs show the system will bring your hard drive into the modern era, most notably by supporting native encryption. It will also time-stamp …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Jun 2016

Net neutrality victory: DC court backs full rules

Analysis Net neutrality rules that make it illegal for ISPs to interfere with data traffic across their networks have been upheld in full by the Washington DC Court of Appeals. The split decision (2-1 in favor) is a big victory, both for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Obama Administration, and a dramatic sign that …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Jun 2016

Apple launches HomeKit app – but where are the products?

Apple has finally launched its internet-of-things (IoT) smart-home service with a new mobile app called "Home." The only problem? A distinct lack of products to work with. Speaking on stage at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco earlier today, senior VP of software engineering Craig Federighi outlined a …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jun 2016

Microsoft and LinkedIn: What the CEOs are planning

"Remember that dystopian view of the future in which technology displaces millions of people from their jobs? It's happening." So begins the less-than-cheery explanation of the huge $26.2bn acquisition of LinkedIn to staff by its CEO Jeff Weiner. Weiner appears to recognize that for many of his employees, being acquired by …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jun 2016

FFS, Twitter. It's not that hard

Howto With the news that Twitter is looking for yet another head of product – the fifth in under three years – it's clear the social media company is still at a loss over what to do next with its service. So here is a simple guide to turn things around and go from the company that everyone shakes their heads at to a bastion of the …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Jun 2016
Suitcase full of money

New $1.5bn VC fund for tech

Bucking what most are saying is a rapid tech slowdown, VC firm Andreessen Horowitz has announced a new $1.5bn investment fund – its fifth since it opened its doors in 2009. In an announcement, the company argued that "the market opportunity for successful new technology businesses is bigger than ever," and highlighted cloud, …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Jun 2016
Google, photo by lightpoet via Shutterstock

Now Google backs everyone's favorite trade pact: The TPP

Global ad provider Google has come out in favor of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. The web giant's general counsel Kent Walker noted in a blog post that the agreement "is not perfect" and decried the lack of transparency that has dogged the process, but argues that it "recognizes the Internet …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Jun 2016
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Berners-Lee: WWW is spy net

Inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has warned that the internet has become the "world's largest surveillance network." Speaking at the Decentralized Web Summit conference in San Francisco run by the Internet Archive, the engineer joined other internet notables including "father of the internet" Vint Cerf and …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Jun 2016
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Twitter resets passwords

Twitter has reset an unknown number of accounts following the offer of millions of usernames and passwords for its service for sale on the dark web. Although the social media company continues to insist that its systems were not compromised, in a blog post its Trust & Information Security Officer Michael Coates said the …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Jun 2016

Sysadmin 'fesses up to wrecking his former employer's IT systems

A former sysadmin with HP-spinoff Agilent has pleaded guilty to intentionally damaging the company's systems after he was laid off. Kenneth Kezeor, 47, worked for Varian from 1997 until 2010, when it was bought by Agilent. Two years later, he was laid off as part of a general staff reduction. He did not take the news well, …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Jun 2016
US Supreme Court

Bin Apple's $500m patent judgment, US DoJ tells Supreme Court

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has recommended that the half-billion-dollar judgment awarded to Apple for iPhone patent infringement be thrown out. In an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court, the DoJ does not formally take sides but does recommend that a federal appeal court ruling that decided Samsung had illegally copied …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Jun 2016

US govt OKs handover of internet's control panel to ICANN

The US government has formally approved a plan to transition control of the internet's administrative tasks to the private sector. In an announcement Thursday, the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) gave the green light to a plan developed over two years by the internet community to hand control of …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Jun 2016
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

US Cellular joins Google Fi

Mobile network US Cellular has become the third company to sign up to Google's Project Fi program. US Cellular provides coverage in 23 states, with LTE coverage for virtually all of them, making it a valuable addition to the project. Project Fi aims to provide users with faster-than-average mobile connections by jumping …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Jun 2016

Yahoo!'s $1bn! for! patents!

Yahoo! is auctioning off its portfolio of roughly 3,000 patents and it wants $1bn for them. The news comes as bidding for the company's "core business" comes to a head. The failing internet company has set a mid-June deadline for initial bids for the patents – most of which cover web search and advertising. The patents have …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Jun 2016

EPO ends news censorship

It was The Reg wot won it: one day after revealing that the European Patent Office (EPO) was blocking access to popular blog IPKat due to an article critical of its reform proposals, the ban has been lifted. The organization's problems are far from over, however. Staff intends to hold another demonstration against their …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Jun 2016

Post-Safe Harbor: Adobe fined for shipping personal info to the US 'without any legal basis'

A German regulator has fined three companies for failing to change the way they share people's personal information following the invalidation of the Safe Harbor agreement last year. The Hamburg Data Commissioner fined Adobe €8,000 ($9,084), Pepsi subsidiary Punica €9,000 ($10,220) and Unilever €11,000 ($12,491) because they …
Kieren McCarthy, 07 Jun 2016

Welcome to the jumbo: Axl Rose tries to take a bite out of 'Fat Axl' internet meme

Legendary rocker Axl Rose has faced struggles with drink and drugs, but he may have bitten off more than he can chew with an effort to remove his own fat meme from the internet. Back in 2010, at a concert in Winnipeg, Canada, Rose appeared on stage in a red bandana and an unbuttoned shirt: traditional garb for the Guns n' …
Kieren McCarthy, 07 Jun 2016
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Twitter ousts top exec. Again

Twitter is looking for its fifth head of product in three years. The social media upstart has reportedly demoted Jeff Seibert, who only took over the role in September. The San Francisco-based biz does not have a replacement yet. Seibert was promoted to the position after previous product head, Kevin Weil, joined a number of …
Kieren McCarthy, 07 Jun 2016

European Patent Office blocks staff reading critical articles at work

The European Patent Office (EPO) has reacted to criticism of its latest proposals – by blocking access to a blog that raised concerns. The thin-skinned organization has placed a block on the popular IP Kat blog, seemingly in response to critical comments about proposed reform to its independent Boards of Appeal. In a posting …
Kieren McCarthy, 07 Jun 2016
Judge with gun

Model's horrific rape case may limit crucial online free speech law

Analysis A terrifying case in which an aspiring model was drugged and raped may result in a limit being placed on a critical piece of online free speech legislation in the US. The unnamed woman was contacted through the website Model Mayhem and offered an audition. That audition turned into a nightmare when two men – Lavont Flanders …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Jun 2016