Kieren McCarthy

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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
Grace Hopper programming

White House taxes Silicon Valley to skill-up American workers

President Obama will charge Silicon Valley a "user fee" to import more foreign workers and use the money to train up under-qualified Americans for jobs in the tech sector. Announcing his TechHire program yesterday, Obama estimated that the government will bring in $100m by opening up the H1-B visa program a little and charging …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Mar 2015

We have no self-control: America's most powerful men explain why they're scared of email

Two of the most powerful men in the United States have revealed they don't use email - because they're scared of what they might say. "I don't email. You can have every email I've ever sent. I've never sent one," Senator Lindsey Graham told NBC's Meet the Press yesterday. Graham's statement follows a similar admission by Senator …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Mar 2015
Donuts

Auction of a live gTLD could pave way for domain-name shakeup

The first new top-level domain name to be sold with live websites attached to it has been picked up by registry giant Donuts at auction. The rights to sell domains under the name ".reise" – which is German for "travel" – represents a sea-change in the way the domain-name system will run in future, with generic top-level domains …
Kieren McCarthy, 07 Mar 2015
Apple Mac Mini late 2014

What a hang-up: AT&T dumped from Dow index, Apple installed

Apple will boot giant telco AT&T off the oldest and most famous stock market index later this month, the people running the Dow Jones Industrial Average announced this morning. The change will come into effect on the morning of Thursday March 19 and is timed to coincide with a stock split by Visa, one of the other 29 companies …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Mar 2015

I see what you've done, there, twiiter.com: Tweet troops tackle tech twin

Twitter wants the domain 'twiiter.com' and has gone to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to seize it. The Facebook-for-showoffs has filed a UDRP complaint for the misspelled domain, and been given case number 1607451. The real surprise is why it has taken the San Francisco upstart so long. Twiiter.com was …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Mar 2015

Canadian bloke refuses to hand over phone password, gets cuffed

A 38-year-old Canadian citizen has been arrested for refusing to hand over his smartphone's password to border agents. Alain Philippon, of Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines in Quebec, arrived at Halifax international airport in Canada from the Dominican Republic on Wednesday – and was selected by the Canada Border Services Agency for …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Mar 2015

.hotels. .hoteis ... not a typo but a window into ICANN's baffling world

Analysis Domain-name overseer ICANN is facing widespread criticism after it emerged victorious from an independent review into its decision over the top-level domain .hotels. Despite winning, the ruling [PDF] has put a spotlight on the systems that are supposed to hold ICANN to account. Not only are the mechanisms inadequate, it's …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Mar 2015

Storm in a K-Cup: My SHAME over the eco-monster I created, says coffee pod inventor

The inventor of the increasingly popular – and apparently environmentally unfriendly – coffee pod feels guilty about his invention. John Sylvan came up with the idea of the Keurig coffee machines back in the 1990s, complete with its little self-contained coffee pods, K-Cups, that you stick in the machine to brew a mug. He sold …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Mar 2015
Total War: Shogun 2

WHY are GoDaddy and Verisign stockpiling patents? Do I smell war?

A raft of patent applications has presaged a possible legal war in the rapidly expanding domain-name industry. This year alone, market-leading registrar GoDaddy has applied for no less than eight patents specific to the DNS world, covering everything from searching for a domain name to register, to recommending a specific domain …
Kieren McCarthy, 04 Mar 2015

International effort to wrangle t'internet from NSA fizzles out in chaos

The launch of the ICANN-Brazil-led internet power grab dubbed NetMundial has been cancelled for a second time, raising questions over its continued existence. NetMundial was dreamed up in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations of blanket global surveillance by Uncle Sam's NSA and the Brits' GCHQ. The governments of Brazil …
Kieren McCarthy, 04 Mar 2015

East Timor was officially removed from the internet yesterday

The country of East Timor was officially removed from the internet this week, with the '.tp' registry and all domains under it deleted from the "root zone". The unusual but not unprecedented decision to delete an entire arm of the internet comes following a long and painful independence struggle for the nation, and also …
Kieren McCarthy, 04 Mar 2015

EasyGroup continues bizarre, time-travelling domain crusade

easyGroup is at it again. Despite having been told repeatedly that it does not own everything that includes the word "easy," the budget company took the owner of the domain 'easygroup.com' to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) arguing that it violated its trademark. The domain was registered by a company called …
Kieren McCarthy, 03 Mar 2015
Double Facepalm; when one facepalm is not enough.

ICANN switches off dot-word admin portal amid security leak scare

Global domain-name overlord ICANN has found another security hole in its systems. This time, confidential data on companies vying for new dot-word domains may have been snooped on by rivals logged into ICANN's catch-all portal – meaning commercially sensitive information as well as important technical details on the internet's …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Mar 2015