Richard Chirgwin

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Pokemon toys

Bot-herders fire fake GPS co-ords at Niantic to collect Pokémon

Well, that didn't take long: Pokémon Go players with sore feet and a case of sitzlust* are sending virtual robots out into virtual reality to catch virtual creatures and bring them home. Published “for educational use only” (read: “don't sue us, go after users”), the Necrobot at GitHub does all the messing about with Pokeballs …
Bring out yer dead!

HPE promises users Itanium server refresh next year. In Dutch!

HPE has told a news outlet in The Netherlands that it's pressing ahead with an Itanium refresh for 2017. The last devotee of the architecture it built with Intel in the late 1990s – which among other things was behind its long lawsuit with Oracle – told Computable last week that the refresh based on the Itanium Kittson chip …
Tesla

Tesla's splitting with sensor supplier

Automotive motion-sensor outfit Mobileye has announced that it's broken up with 'leccy car-maker Tesla. The Israeli company made the announcement during its earnings call yesterday, saying that it wants to concentrate on closer collaborations, rather than merely being a parts supplier. Chairman Amnon Shashua said the company …
IEEE's top 10 programming languages

Plenty of fish in the C, IEEE finds in language popularity contest

It's no surprise that C and Java share the top two spots in the IEEE Spectrum's latest Interactive Top Programming Languages survey, but R at number five? That's a surprise. This month's raking from TIOBE put Java at number one and C at number two, while the IEEE reverses those two, and the IEEE doesn't rank assembly as a top- …
Mambo Unlimited's gold bug. Pic: Steve Caplin

Avaya data leak bug

A group of security researchers have disclosed a now-fixed bug in Avaya data centre hardware that allows shortest-path first (SPB) bridges to be traversed. It's not remotely exploitable, but it's worth remembering that there's plenty of concern among data centre customers and admins that tenant traffic is private, both from …

Qualcomm STEMs gender lawsuit with US$19.5 million

Qualcomm has settled a gender discrimination lawsuit before it even made it to court. The chip designer has agreed that its employment and human resources practices disadvantaged women, so will write a nearly US$20 million cheque to settle, and will fix its workplaces. The lawsuit was brought by class action specialists …
Tabby cat cuddles roll of one-hundred dollar bills. Photo by Shutterstock

Australian Banks ask permission to form anti-Apple cartel

You can't make it up: the last industry in Australia to enjoy the privileged status of “protected and guaranteed by government”, the banks, want the country's competition regulator to rubber-stamp it acting as a cartel against Apple. Apple won't let Australia's banks use iPhones for contactless payments without using Apple Pay …

Australian maps and GPS will align by 2020

Geo-boffins are getting ready to nudge Australia to the north, so its national map data agrees with the new world of GPS. The country's maps are currently based on a standard called the Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994 (GAD94), which is more than 20 years old and ties map references to locations fixed on the Australian …
Sun

NASA puts lenses through a different drill to stare at the Sun

NASA Goddard boffins and engineers have taken inspiration from the Fresnel lens to craft a “photon sieve” they hope will help them observe the processes that heat the sun's corona. The diffraction that gives a Fresnel lamp its soft edges is also handy for gathering light. NASA's post here explains that after passing through …
Dirty VW Beetle in Sleeper

VW's first US settlement nearly settled

Volkswagen's “dieselgate” part-settlement has received preliminary approval from a US judge. It's the start of a long, slow process for VW to clear its name after it was caught programming diesel engine management systems to enter a low-emission (and low power) state when undergoing emission tests. If the arrangement between …
Facebook's Surround 360 Camera

Facebook Surround360 design lands at GitHub

Facebook needs VR content for its Oculus Rift VR headset, so it's made good on its March promise to publish its Surround360 camera design and software. The whole kit and caboodle has landed at GitHub. You'll need your own machinist and around US$30,000 to get started. The company explains here that the kit isn't “a” camera: …
A plate of horderves

Cavium revenue, losses rise

Networking semiconductor outfit Cavium has reported rising revenue for Q2 2016, but its losses are widening. Its revenue for the quarter was US$107.2 million, up 2.1 per cent on the same period last year and up 5.2 per cent from Q1 2016. However, losses are up. The company announced GAPP net loss of $7.4 million, up from $3.8 …
tanami_desert_near_willowra_648

Services income helps Juniper keep Q2 from collapse

The tough networking market continues to make growth difficult for the big names: Juniper Networks has reported flat year-on-year Q2 2016 revenue and has warned of a flat outlook. Second quarter 2016 revenue was US$1.221 billion, and its operating margin fell year-on-year from 19.9 per cent in Q2 2015 to 16.7 per cent for the …

Oz regulator eyes broadband marketing

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is setting its sights on broadband speed claims, again. It's almost a perennial: providers who used to routinely use 24 Mbps to spruik ADSL2+ services that mostly limp along at under 10 Mbps have been jumped on before. Now, as the ACCC's chairman Rod Sims says, “ …
Handshake

Microsoft dangles code candy in front of iOS devs

Microsoft is pressing ahead with its desire to sweep iOS devs into its embrace, this time offering them a code-testing tool to help them use its Windows Bridge for iOS. The bridge first landed as a preview in August 2015, and got a leg-up from Intel in April with a slab of Chipzilla-contributed code. Microsoft had hoped for …
fail_parking_meter_648

UK 'leccy car company Ecotricity patches leaky car recharge app

Security researcher Scott Helme has turned up a dumb password reset bug in UK energy company Ecotricity's car charging app. The bug is in the app the company provides for users of its network of 'leccy car recharge points: it had a bad user enumeration bug that would let an attacker reset someone else's password and therefore …

European privacy body slams shut backdoors everywhere

Europe's privacy body has reiterated its pro-privacy, anti-backdoor stance. The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Giovanni Buttarelli has long expressed the view that “privacy versus security” is a false dichotomy. In 2015, he told a conference in Brussels that “the objective of cyber-security may be misused to …
Poison pill

Micron sets a canary to watch over its stock in case of takeover

A filing in the Securities Exchange Commission has set the hounds running on speculation that Micron Technology is the latest takeover target in the ongoing consolidation of the chip business. The filing, in the arcane language of SEC documents, gets to the point in this statement: “[N]o person will become an Acquiring …
Pic: Shutterstock

Boffins snoop on snooping Tor nodes

A pair of researchers from Northwestern University are working on a framework to let users identify misbehaving Tor nodes. In a brief paper presented to last week's Privacy Enhancing Technologies symposium in Germany, they suggest their proof-of-concept worked, turning up 110 snooping relays on Tor. Northwestern University's …
cloud

Verizon wants to replace your net gateways with 'a simple mux'

Verizon has launched the next piece of its seven-year strategy to virtualise its enterprise services, announcing a bunch of multi-vendor virtual security, WAN optimisation, and software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) services. And Friday's launch has an unusual characteristic: it breaks the decades-long practice among telecommunications …
Crashed plane, photo via Shutterstock

Oops: Bounty-hunter found Vine's source code in plain sight

A bounty-hunter has gone public with a complete howler made by Vine, the six-second-video-loop app Twitter acquired in 2012. According to this post by @avicoder (Vjex at GitHub), Vine's source code was for a while available on what was supposed to be a private Docker registry. While docker.vineapp.com, hosted at Amazon, wasn' …
gold abacus via shutterstock

Eurocrats to pore over Apache, KeePass code

The Apache HTTP server and KeePass password manager are to get a free code audit, courtesy of a pilot European Commission project. The EC-FOSSA (free and open source software auditing project) pilot was conceived by the European parliament in 2014, and given €1 million to work with. As well as code audits, it's got the …
shutterstock_225964027-pizz

MS warns of ..WSF file worm

Microsoft has pulled apart a current malware campaign, and is warning against e-mails with a double-dotted script file attached. The Nemucod malware isn't new, but what Redmond discusses in this Technet post is a wrinkle designed to trap unwary eyes: a Windows Script File (wsf) attachment with an extra dot in the file …
Pokemon toys

Nintendo to investors: Pokémon Go won't make money come

Investors who bid up Nintendo have punished the company for pointing out the Pokémon Go app is not going to create a cash deluge. Announcing the official availability of Pokémon Go in its home market (in partnership with McDonald's, so you can guess where the happiest hunting grounds will be), Nintendo added that it only owns …

By 2040, computers will need more electricity than the world can generate

Without much fanfare, the Semiconductor Industry Association earlier this month published a somewhat-bleak assessment of the future of Moore's Law – and at the same time, called “last drinks” on its decades-old International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). The industry's been putting together the roadmap every …