Iain Thomson

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Kaspersky image

Kaspersky so very sorry after suggesting its antivirus will get you laid

Kaspersky has apologized for displaying a sexist pop-up advert in its security software. It's not sorry about showing adverts on people's desktops, however. The Russian giant's desktop software suite flings adverts, er, news items about Kaspersky products at users who have already paid for its applications. On Friday, one of …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jul 2016

No need to panic, says SwiftKey, as email addresses, phone numbers appear on strangers' screens

SwiftKey has shut down the cloud synchronization feature of its keyboard app after people reported seeing strangers' email addresses and phone numbers on their phone screens. The Microsoft-owned biz insists there isn't a problem with its security. For the past few days, users have complained that SwiftKey's next-word …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jul 2016
No entry

Google tells Android's Linux kernel to toughen up and fight off those horrible hacker bullies

The security folks at Google have been detailing how they intend to harden up Android against attack. In a blog post, Jeff Vander Stoep of the mobile operating system's security team said that in the next build of the OS, named Nougat, Google is going to be addressing two key areas of the Linux kernel that reside at the heart …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jul 2016
Google's Sundar Pichai, speaking at Google I/O 2015

Google, er, Alphabet takes on 10,000 more staff, banks more and more billions from ads

Alphabet, the holding company for Google and the Chocolate Factory's other concerns, has reported strong growth in the second quarter ending June 30, with revenues up 21 per cent from this time last year. Google made up the vast majority of this revenue, accounting for $21.3bn for the quarter, with the other parts of Alphabet …
Iain Thomson, 28 Jul 2016
UAE

Don't use a VPN in United Arab Emirates – unless you wanna risk jail and a $545,000 fine

A royal edict from the president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may have effectively made it illegal for anyone in the country to use a VPN or secure proxy service. Those caught could face jail time and fines of between 500,000 and 2,000,000 UAE dirham (US$136,130 and $544,521). The change was announced this week by the UAE …
Iain Thomson, 28 Jul 2016
Man in a suit drinking tea out doors reading from his tablet

New US spy satellite in orbit

America launched a secret reconnaissance satellite atop an Atlas V rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 0837 EDT (1237 UTC) today. The spy bird, dubbed NROL-61 by its owners the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), was popped into geostationary orbit around Earth and is now getting itself into …
Iain Thomson, 28 Jul 2016
Tesla crash

Tesla autopilot driver 'was speeding' moments before death – prelim report

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released its preliminary report into the Tesla crash that killed Joshua Brown, a 40-year-old Ohio man who was using the car's Autopilot function at the time of his death. Brown was driving down US Highway 27A in Florida when a truck hauling a 53-foot trailer packed with …
Iain Thomson, 28 Jul 2016
Drone jammer

Airbus doesn't just make aircraft – now it designs drone killers

Vid A new joint venture between aircraft manufacturer Airbus and California startup Dedrone is selling a security system that can spot drones miles away and knock them out of the sky. The system uses a network of cameras, radars, microphones, and directional scanners developed by Dedrone that can detect and target a standard …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jul 2016
Dead battery

Microsoft blames dying Surface Pro 3 batteries on software bug

Microsoft has admitted that the battery problems hitting some Surface Pro 3 owners aren't down to hardware failure, but rather a software issue. Redmond's support forums have been inundated with complaints about the high-end fondleslab's battery life. The problem only appears to affect hardware that uses batteries from third- …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jul 2016
Russian hacking

Did the Russians really hack the DNC or is this another Sony Pictures moment? You decide

Poll Security intelligence firm ThreatConnect thinks it has found a smoking gun that links the leaked US Democratic Party emails to Russian hackers. The biz has analyzed the communications methods used by Guccifer 2.0, which is thought to be a team of miscreants who obtained the somewhat embarrassing internal emails and gave them …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jul 2016
Solar Impulse 2

Captain Piccard's planet-orbiting solar aircraft in warped drive drama

An airplane powered by nothing more than the Sun's rays has completed its 42,000-km (26,098-mile) journey around the world after landing in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. The Solar Impulse 2, piloted by Bertrand Piccard for its final leg, made the trip in 17 legs, flying around the Northern hemisphere with stops in nine countries. Its …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jul 2016
Hackers

3D print biz Shapeways hacked, home and email addresses swiped

Custom 3D model printing biz Shapeways has been hacked, who gained access to customers' shipping and email addresses, usernames and hashed passwords. New York-based Shapeways takes 3D designs and prints them for those unwilling or unable to invest in a 3D printer of their own. Its customers received an email today from CEO …
Iain Thomson, 26 Jul 2016
Iraq fake bomb detector in use

Iraqi government finally bans debunked bomb-finding dowsing rods

So-called Advanced Detection Equipment (ADE) used by the Iraqi army to find explosives have been scrapped – more than three years after the devices were proved to be fakes. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered a halt to the use of the dowsing-rod-like gadgets after they failed to detect explosives on a truck that killed …
Iain Thomson, 26 Jul 2016
private investigator

Uber's dud private dick given a hard time by judge in stiff surge case

A private investigator hired by Uber potentially broke the law while digging up dirt on someone suing the taxi app biz, a New York judge has ruled. Information gathered by the dodgy sleuth cannot be used in court by Uber, the beak added. Uber and its CEO Travis Kalanick were sued by New Yorker Spencer Meyer, who accused them …
Iain Thomson, 25 Jul 2016
Liam Neeson Taken

Euro cops, Intel and Kaspersky slay Shade ransomware

A joint operation by Europol, the Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit, Intel, and Kaspersky has seized the command and control servers for the Shade ransomware strain and published code that allows anyone hit by the malware to decrypt their files. Shade has been in circulation since 2014, and has predominantly targeted …
Iain Thomson, 25 Jul 2016
The first color picture of Mars from Viking 1

40 years ago today the US govt sent a taxpayer-funded robot to invade an alien hostile world

Pics The surviving members of the Viking Mars probe team have been celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first probe to make it down onto the surface of the Red Planet, send back pictures, and perform scientific experiments. The Viking 1 lander hit dirt on Mars on July 20, 1976, 16 days late. The probe had been planned for …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016
Facebook laser receptor

Raving mad: Glow sticks are secret weapon in Facebook's 2.1Gbps laser internet drones

At Facebook's F8 Developer Conference this year, Mark Zuckerberg revealed more details about his laser-firing drones that will encircle the world and relay Facebook, sorry, the internet to far-flung places, reaching potentially all seven billion of us. The first solar-powered Aquila autonomous drones to do that job have now …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016

Microsoft ordered to fix 'excessively intrusive, insecure' Windows 10

Updated A French regulator has issued Microsoft a formal warning over Windows 10, saying the operating system collects excessive amounts of personal data, ships that information illegally out of the EU, and has lousy security. The warning comes from the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), an independent data …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016
Tim Peake

ISS chases the Dragon

The SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule has arrived at the International Space Station after a two-day trip in orbit. .@SpaceX #Dragon captured at 6:56am ET/10:56am GMT w/@Astro_Jeff & #AstroKate at @CSA_ASC #Canadarm2 controls. https://t.co/PQ2DE0o7YM — Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station) July 20, 2016 The capsule was captured by …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016
WikiLeaks

300k Turkey govt emails leak

The Turkish government is blocking WikiLeaks after the whistleblowing website published a huge archive of emails from officials of the ruling Justice & Development Party (AKP). The archive was obtained from the inboxes of AKP staffers and members of parliament before the attempted military coup last week. The initial batch …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft Azure doubles up to $800m a quarter – and is wiped out by dying phone sales

Analysis All eyes were on Microsoft's cloud business today as it published its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results. Amid the numbers, Redmond boasted that its Azure revenues from the quarter were up 102 per cent year-on-year – we estimate the cloud service's revenue to be about $800m in total for the period. Meanwhile, …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016
loud

After Monday's landing, SpaceX wants to do it in triplicate

SpaceX has applied to local authorities for permission to build two new rocket landing pads in Florida ahead of the launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket later this year. The Falcon Heavy consists of three modified Falcon 9 rockets strapped together – a more complex machine that Elon Musk describes as having a "heavy pucker factor …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016
Raised hands vote

Eat me, Michael: 98% of EMC shareholders back Dell mega-gobble

EMC shareholders have voted overwhelmingly to accept Dell's $60bn plus offer to merge the two companies into a new entity called Dell Technologies. At a special shareholder meeting at EMC's Hopkinton, Massachusetts, headquarters, 98 per cent of those present, representing 78 per cent of the shareholders, voted to approve the …
Iain Thomson, 19 Jul 2016
fire helicopter

Drone bloke cuffed after gizmo stops firemen tackling forest inferno

A man was arrested by officers from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection after his drone allegedly got in the way of them tackling a major blaze. Eric Wamser, 57, of Foresthill, California, was cuffed on Friday after posting drone-shot footage of the Trailhead Fire, which has burned for three weeks and …
Iain Thomson, 19 Jul 2016
results

What's big, blue and red all over? IBM. Profit, z Systems down, cloud up

IBM today reported its second quarter financial results and the figures don't look good, with profits falling nearly 30 per cent. The venerable computing giant did perform slightly better than analysts expected, however GAAP revenues and profits are both down year-on-year. It's the 17th straight quarter of revenue declines for …
Iain Thomson, 18 Jul 2016