Kieren McCarthy

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US Congress promises death to patent trolls in bipartisan law scribbling

A new bill that will bring about the end of patent trolls will be introduced to US Congress today (Wednesday). Its backers are confident it will be signed into law "in six months or less." At a press conference launching the Patent Act earlier today, senior leaders from both parties spoke strongly in favor of introducing new …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Apr 2015

SECRET PROTOTYPE iPAD 'stolen from RANDY Apple employee'

A "test model" iPad was stolen this month from a lonely-heart in his 20s, who is thought to be an Apple worker. The unnamed man had responded to a sex ad online – and got more than he bargained for. The poor bloke answered an advert from Katherine Stump, 20, and later met up with her and her pal Alexander Nejat, 24, two blocks …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Apr 2015
Bitcoin is the future of money CC 2.0 by Jonathan Waller https://www.flickr.com/photos/whitez/

The world's first proper Bitcoin exchange will be live in a month

Bitcoin will officially enter the mainstream financial world next month when New York State's Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) publishes a regulatory framework for the virtual currency, allowing virtual currency exchange itBit to become the first-ever legitimate Bitcoin bank. The NYDFS will publish its final "BitLicense …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Apr 2015

Why the US government reckons it should keep phone network kill-switches a secret

Analysis The US government has argued that the rules around how and when it is allowed to shutdown phone networks must remain secret because the disclosure could endanger lives. In a court filing [PDF] this week, lawyers from the Department of Justice argued that public disclosure of Standard Operating Procedure 303 (SOP 303) "would …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Apr 2015

ICANN wants total control of DNS while breaking its own bylaws to block .africa probe

ICANN broke its own bylaws – and acted in a way "fundamentally inconsistent" with its role as the world's DNS overlord – while restricting efforts to make itself more accountable to netizens. That striking judgment [PDF] comes this month from an independent review team at the International Centre For Dispute Resolution (ICDR). …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Apr 2015

Today, the US govt must explain why its rules on shutting down whole cell networks are a secret

The US government will be forced to explain why its cell network kill-switch plans should be kept secret today. Under Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) 303, the US government – in particular the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – is allowed to shutdown cellphone service anywhere in the country, and even across an entire …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Apr 2015

Business plans, good ideas, and 8 other myths about startups – by Indiegogo's CEO

"We have the ability to be an entrepreneur beaten out of us," explained the CEO of funding site Indiegogo Slava Rubin, in front of a big picture of a kettle. Rubin was giving the closing keynote at this week's Vator Splash in Oakland – his backyard, he told us. "I turned down South by Southwest, but Oakland? Yes to Oakland." …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Apr 2015

Internet kingmakers drop ego, devise future of DNS, IP addys etc

Five months after the release of a bloated, ego–driven mess of a plan to shift control of the top level of the internet from the US government to the internet community, a greatly improved version 2.0 has been offered for public comment. The 90–page Response to the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group Request for …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Apr 2015

Sick of tech bro Silicon Valley? Oakland is building a better tech world – say Oaklanders

It's rare that the politician is the most blunt person in the room, but Oakland's Mayor Libby Schaaf pulled it off on Thursday afternoon at the Vator Splash tech conference in the city. Taking the stage to discuss "when will tech look like America?" the mayor shared her thoughts on how to increase diversity in the tech industry …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Apr 2015

Dissing the Valley and ignoring unicorns: The tech boom Oakland style

Analysis "Last year, people were surprised that Vator Splash came to Oakland, this year they're thinking 'yeah, that's about right'." So claimed Libby Schaaf, the new mayor of the Bay Area's hippest place to be, the new "Brooklyn by the Bay" – yes, we're talking about Oakland. Schaaf was opening 2015's Vator Splash conference this …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Apr 2015

'Aaron's Law' back on the table to bring sanity to US hacking laws

The so-called "Aaron's Law," named after the late activist Aaron Swartz, is back before US Congress having been reintroduced on Wednesday in both houses. Silicon Valley rep Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and tech-savvy senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) have put the legislation on the table a second time after it was effectively ignored last session …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Apr 2015
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Half a BILLION dollars later and, PHEW, we're all done buying up dot-word domain rights

The auctioning of rights to new dot-word top-level domains has finally come to a close with the sale of .stream to portfolio company Famous Four. In the past week, four other gTLDs - .map, .living, .search and .fun - has also been resolved, with two of them going to Google. Over the past year, domain-name overseer ICANN has run …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Apr 2015

GoDaddy buys 200,000 domains for $28.1m – that's $140 a piece

GoDaddy has bought the entire domain-name portfolio of mobile advertising company Marchex for $28.1m (£18.67m). With 200,000 domain names in the deal, more than three-quarters of them dot-coms, that equates to $140 (£93) per name. GoDaddy intends to put them all up for sale on its NameFind website, and examples include: Analyzed …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Apr 2015

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