Iain Thomson

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eBay bug turns phishing email links into malware-stuffed booby prizes

eBay is racing to fix a second serious security flaw that may allow criminals to spread malware through files seemingly hosted by the online tat bazaar. The bug is closely related to an earlier one discovered by David Sopas, a researcher at security firm WebSegura in Portugal. The hole uncovered by Sopas, since closed by eBay, …
Iain Thomson, 23 May 2015
spy_eye_648

'The Google execs, the journalists, plus Brit and US spybosses in a cosy mansion confab'

A high-level private meeting between Silicon Valley execs, spies and others was held in the UK this month: on the agenda, the state of government surveillance, and what limits should be put on it. The attendee list is impressive. Key speakers apparently included former acting CIA boss John McLaughlin; former White House deputy …
Iain Thomson, 22 May 2015
Brain

ROBOQUAFF! Boffins build smooth robot arm to lift a pint of beer

Vid Scientists have developed a brain-controlled prosthetic arm that can perform fine motor movements well enough to lift a pint of beer without spilling it. Beer and the robot arm It's my round Mind-controlled prosthetic limbs are nothing new, but they tend to be rather jerky in their movement, which severely limits what people …
Iain Thomson, 22 May 2015
Snowden

Snowden latest: NSA planned sneak attacks on Android app stores

The latest package of documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden details how the intelligence services planned to host man-in-the-middle attacks to install tracking and control software onto Android smartphones. According to a presentation released from the Snowden archive to The Intercept the so-called "5 Eyes" nation's …
Iain Thomson, 22 May 2015
Dragon capsule lands in ocean

SpaceX signs off on another successful mission with Pacific splashdown

SpaceX's Dragon cargo capsule has made a splash-landing in the Pacific Ocean as planned after detaching from the International Space Station. The month-long mission ended with a successful, if damp, landing and the 3,100lb of completed scientific experiments, broken hardware, and dirty clothes has been successfully retrieved. …
Iain Thomson, 21 May 2015
Rand Paul

Rand Paul stages Senate filibuster against Patriot Act

Update Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is currently four hours into a filibuster on the Senate floor over plans to renew sections of the Patriot Act that allow mass surveillance of American citizens. Exclusive video that answers the question: why a filibuster? https://t.co/4HxwQn0IEw — Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) May 20, 2015 "There comes a …
Iain Thomson, 21 May 2015
Car crash

Get off the phone!! Seven out of ten US drivers put theirs and your lives at risk

Over two-thirds of drivers are dangerously distracted by their smartphones. That's according to a survey of over 2,000 US road users quizzed about their activities while piloting a ton or so of metal down the freeway at high speed. In all, 61 per cent of drivers admitted to sending or reading text messages while behind the …
Iain Thomson, 20 May 2015
ULA Atlas launch

US Air Force launches not-so-secret space plane. Thanks Russia

The US Air Force's not-so-secret space plane, the X37-B, has been successfully launched into low-Earth orbit along with an array of interesting test products. The rocket lifted off, after a 20 minute delay, at 1105 EDT (1505 UTC) from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Wednesday and delivered the space plane into orbit with its …
Iain Thomson, 20 May 2015
The new Pirate Bay logo

Swedish government wins legal case to seize Pirate Bay domains

The Swedish government has won its case to seize piratebay.se and thepiratebay.se, but the site is already back up under another domain with a new logo to show it isn't beaten. The new round of whack-a-mole flared up on Tuesday when The Stockholm District Court ruled in a case brought by government prosecutors against Swedish …
Iain Thomson, 20 May 2015
The X-37B space plane being hoisted into position

US Air Force reveals what's inside its top-secret space plane, this time

The US Air Force has responded to fears that it is weaponizing space through its secret space shuttle by providing some details of what it will contain at launch on Wednesday. The now not-so-secret X-37B will lift off at 1045 EDT (1445 UTC) from Cape Canaveral in Florida on an Atlas V rocket operated by the United Launch …
Iain Thomson, 19 May 2015
Moments of perspiration

Airplane HACK PANIC! Hold on, it's surely a STORM in a TEACUP

Claims by a security researcher that he hacked an aircraft in flight have been questioned widely across the hacking community and the airline industry. According to a FBI affidavit, security researcher Chris Roberts claimed to have taken control of an airplane using an ordinary laptop connected to the aircraft’s In Flight …
Iain Thomson, 19 May 2015
Revenant in Doom reboot

Doom is BOOM! BOOM! BACK!

It's been nearly 11 years but Doom is back. Bethesda Software has released a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it teaser for the reboot of the famous first-person shooter and confirmed the game will be “unveiled” on June 14 at the E3 2015 games show in Los Angeles. It's been a long time since we've seen a truly new version of the 22-year …
Iain Thomson, 18 May 2015
VR

IN YOUR FACE, Linux and Apple fans! Oculus is Windows-only for now

Facebook's Oculus division has published the tech specs of its Rift virtual reality headset, and it would seem that Apple and Linux fans are out of luck. "Our development for OS X and Linux has been paused in order to focus on delivering a high quality consumer-level VR experience at launch across hardware, software, and content …
Iain Thomson, 16 May 2015
Quasar 3C 273

Astroboffins perplexed by QUADRUPLE QUASAR CLUSTER find

Baffled astronomers at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii are scratching their heads after finding a group of four quasars, a gathering that current cosmological thinking rates as a ten million-to-one chance of occurring. quasars Four into one shouldn't go "If you discover something which, according to current scientific wisdom …
Iain Thomson, 15 May 2015
Combo Breaker

Hacker 3D prints device that can crack a combo lock in 30 seconds

A California hacker who has become an expert in cracking locks has invented a 3D-printed machine that can crack a rotary combination lock in around 30 seconds – and he's released the plans, 3D models, and code as open source. Youtube Video A few weeks ago, Samy Kamkar told the world about a manufacturing flaw in Master Lock …
Iain Thomson, 15 May 2015
airplane

Get paid (airline) peanuts with United's new bug bounty program

United Airlines is starting a bug bounty program aimed at finding flaws and errors in its web portals – but the rewards it's offering aren't payable in money, but in air miles. "At United, we take your safety, security and privacy seriously. We utilize best practices and are confident that our systems are secure," the company …
Iain Thomson, 14 May 2015
New Horizons spacecraft approaching Pluto

NASA snaps first full family photo of Pluto and its five moons

The New Horizons probe, currently speeding towards a July rendezvous with Pluto, has sent back the first images of the dwarf planet and the five moons that orbit it. "New Horizons is now on the threshold of discovery," said mission science team member John Spencer, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. "If …
Iain Thomson, 14 May 2015
Fujitsu Arrows NX F-04G

Don't look now: Fujitsu ships new mobe with EYEBALL-scanning security

Fujitsu has released a smartphone that it claims is the first in the world to use iris scanning to replace passwords or fingerprint readers. Youtube Video The Fujitsu Arrows NX F-04G, first displayed at Mobile World Congress earlier this year, comes with the usual accoutrements you'd expect in a smartphone. It has a 5.2-inch …
Iain Thomson, 13 May 2015
windows 10 microsoft one windows

World of the strange: There will be NINE KINDS of Windows 10

When Windows 10 ships this summer, buyers will have a host of different versions of the operating system – actually as many as nine, when you take everything into account. The basic consumer version is Windows 10 Home. For that you get the OS with support for Windows Universal apps, the Edge browser (and Internet Explorer), and …
Iain Thomson, 13 May 2015
Italy's first woman in space enjoys espresso on the ISS

Russia delays ISS crew mission over Progress launch safety fears

The current crew on the International Space Station is going to be spending at least another month in space after the Russian space agency Roscosmos decided to keep them up there a while longer, and at least one resident astronaut is over the moon at the prospect. Italy's first woman in space, astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, …
Iain Thomson, 12 May 2015
Babel Fish

Time to get your babble on: Microsoft opens Skype Translator Preview to all comers

Microsoft's Skype Translator, which automatically converts some voice calls and IMs between languages, has been available to beta testers for some time, but Redmond has now opened it up as a Preview to the general public – provided they have the right operating system. The Translator Preview software has been in circulation …
Iain Thomson, 12 May 2015
Elon Musk

Elon Musk: I'm neither a samurai nor a bastard

Elon Musk has come out fighting online to defend his reputation after quotes in a new book about the space and electric car enthusiast made him look like a bit of a git. The claims come in a new book, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, written by El Reg alumnus Ashlee Vance. The book claims that Musk …
Iain Thomson, 12 May 2015
Ceres

DEEPENING MYSTERY of BRIGHT LIGHTS on dwarf world Ceres

NASA's Dawn space probe has completed its first mapping orbit of the dwarf planet Ceres and the bright spots spotted on the surface are much more numerous than first thought. In March, as Dawn approached the planet, scientists spotted a bright spot on the surface of Ceres and more appeared as the spacecraft approached. A new …
Iain Thomson, 12 May 2015
Google car

SHOCK! Robot cars do CRASH. Because other cars have human drivers

Self-driving cars have put in hundreds of thousands of miles on California's roads and, according to the state's Department of Motor Vehicles, they have had four bumps and scrapes along the way. In September 2014, California's DMV issued new guidelines that allow autonomous vehicles on state roads, as long as there's a human …
Iain Thomson, 11 May 2015

Pakistan URINE STORM: Google Maps chokes off user editing

From Tuesday, Google is cutting user edits from its Maps after admitting that it simply can't prevent online tricksters from abusing the system. A much less creative attempt, although more to the point Last month, the firm was forced to make some quick edits after a user noticed that someone had created a mythical park in …
Iain Thomson, 11 May 2015
CHIP

Hordes spaff cash on Chip titchyputer to rival Pi (maybe)

The success of the Raspberry Pi has spawned a cottage industry of imitators, but the budget hobbyist computer's $35 price tag is looking downright expensive compared to the latest arrival – the $9 Chip bare-bones computer. Chip promo vid The Chip comes with an Allwinner A13 ARM-based 1GHz processor, 512MB of DDR3 RAM and 4GB of …
Iain Thomson, 09 May 2015
hacker

Rogue cybersecurity firm killed cancer testing lab, claims ex-employee

A former employee of well-connected security firm Tiversa has claimed in court that the company falsified information about the severity of a data breach at a cancer laboratory that was later forced to close after a government data security investigation. Georgia cancer testing laboratory LabMD – or rather, what's left of it now …
Iain Thomson, 08 May 2015
Mitch McConnell

NSA spying is illegal? Then let's make it law, say Republicans

Now that a US federal court has ruled that the NSA's mass wiretapping program exceeded its legal authority, leaders of the US Republican party are pushing to make it legal. Within hours of the ruling by the US Second Circuit Court of Appeal that the NSA's bulk domestic surveillance program under Section 215 of the Patriot Act …
Iain Thomson, 08 May 2015
Russian 'Progress' cargo vessel as seen from the International Space Station

Take cover! Out-of-control Russian spaceship to smash into Earth within hours

The Russian space agency Roscosmos has confirmed that its out-of-control Progress cargo capsule will begin its fatal plunge toward Earth on Thursday. Control of the 7,298kg (16,089lb) spacecraft was lost shortly after launch last week and the cargo pod, which is carrying three tons of supplies for the International Space Station …
Iain Thomson, 07 May 2015

Keurig to drop coffee DRM after boss admits 'we were wrong'

Coffee machine maker Keurig's attempt to lock customers into its proprietary K-Cup coffee pods was a failure, the firm's CEO has admitted, and the company is dropping the practice. "Quite honestly, we were wrong," boss Brian Kelley told analysts after Keurig's latest quarterly results were released, the Washington Post reports …
Iain Thomson, 07 May 2015

Online pizza order saves woman and children from knife-wielding kidnapper

A quick-thinking kidnappee managed to summon the cops using the comments section of an online order for pizza while being held hostage with her three children. On Monday Cheryl Treadway, 25, from Avon Park in Florida, spent the day arguing with her boyfriend Ethan Nickerson. He became violent, armed himself with a large knife …
Iain Thomson, 07 May 2015
Cheat by https://www.flickr.com/photos/sohelparvezhaque/ CC 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Tencent stripped of antivirus rankings for cheating on tests

Antivirus ratings firms AV‐Comparatives, AV-Test, and Virus Bulletin have stripped another company of its rankings for trying to game their tests. This time the culprit was Chinese giant Tencent, which is accused of compromising its own security systems for the sake of speed credits in testing. "After in-depth investigations, …
Iain Thomson, 06 May 2015

SpaceX Dragon crew capsule in 'CHUTE ABORT drama – don't panic, no one died

Pics and vid At 0900 EDT (1300 UTC) today, SpaceX launched a Dragon 2 capsule, capable of carrying a human crew, high into the sky, and gently landed it on the Atlantic ocean. It was a NASA-required experiment to test whether or not the craft can safely return to Earth without killing anyone onboard if a launch is aborted shortly after …
Iain Thomson, 06 May 2015
America

Snowden scandal latest: NSA, GCHQ lingo-spies replaced by unstoppable RHINEHART robots

The NSA has been using software to convert intercepted phone calls into transcripts stored in searchable databases, it is claimed. It is also entirely believable: Dragon Dictate isn't exactly top secret, is it? Documents leaked by Edward Snowden and published by The Intercept on Tuesday show that Uncle Sam's spies, and their …
Iain Thomson, 06 May 2015
Dead PC

PEAK PC: 'Most' Google web searches 'come from mobiles' in US

The majority of Google web searches in America, and a few other nations, now come from phones and tablets – outpacing PCs for the first time, we're told. According to NetMarketShare, Google owned a 92.22 per cent chunk of the global search engine market for mobiles and slabs, and 65.73 per cent of the desktop search market, in …
Iain Thomson, 05 May 2015
Big Bang

In a galaxy far, far, far away ... Farthest ever star system discovered

Pic Astronomers at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii have spotted the farthest galaxy on record – a galaxy 13 billion light-years away that formed 670 million years after the Big Bang. Youngest galaxy yet found I've seen things you people wouldn't believe... (click to enlarge) Several very old galaxies were detected by the …
Iain Thomson, 05 May 2015
Italy's first woman in space enjoys espresso on the ISS

Italian ISS trekkie sips first zero-G cup of espresso in SPAAAACE

The ISS now has a functioning espresso machine and it was Italy's first woman in space, astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who got the first shot – although not before donning a Star Trek uniform for the occasion. "Coffee: the finest organic suspension ever devised." Fresh espresso in the new Zero-G cup! To boldly brew... pic. …
Iain Thomson, 05 May 2015

Windows 10 bombshell: Microsoft to KILL OFF Patch Tuesday

Ignite 2015 Microsoft has shown off some of the new security mechanisms embedded in Windows 10, and revealed a change to its software updates. Windows supremo Terry Myerson reckons the revised security patch rollout – effectively ditching the monthly Patch Tuesday – will shame Google. "Google takes no responsibility to update customer …
Iain Thomson, 04 May 2015
Microsoft Ignite 2015

Word to your mother: Office 2016 preview flung at world + dog

Ignite 2015 If you want to get your hands on Office 2016, Microsoft has made it available now for download – but be warned, you'll have to take Office 2013 off before you do. Microsoft has marked the opening day of its Ignite conference (think TechEd and a bunch of other sysadmin shindigs rolled into one economical bundle) in Chicago by …
Iain Thomson, 04 May 2015
scanners

Shields up! Shields up! ASTRONAUTS flying to MARS will arrive BRAIN DAMAGED, boffins claim

A NASA-funded study into the effects of long-term space travel has a troubling conclusion: astronauts going to Mars could arrive with brain damage. The research, conducted by the University of California Irvine and published in the Science Advances journal, involved bombarding mice with ionised oxygen and titanium nuclei for six …
Iain Thomson, 02 May 2015
Unlocked padlock

'Just follow the damn Constitution!' FBI, DoJ skewered over demands for crypto backdoors

Vid FBI agents and US Department of Justice officials perhaps thought they were in for an easy ride during a congressional hearing on crime, terrorism and encryption. If so, they were mistaken. House reps on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee tore into the Feds' demands for skeleton keys to decrypt citizens' private files …
Iain Thomson, 01 May 2015

NSA-restraining US law edges closer to reality, leaves just 6.81 billion under mass surveillance

A law bill to mildly curb the NSA's blanket surveillance of innocent Americans has taken an important step toward being passed. On Thursday, the US House of Representatives' justice committee voted 25 to two in favor of a revised version of the USA Freedom Act – the original was killed last year in the Senate. Now it's looking …
Iain Thomson, 01 May 2015
Blue Origins

Amazon boss Bezos' Blue Origins declares test flight 'flawless' ... if you overlook one snafu

Video Blue Origins, the rocket company started by Amazon supremo Jeff Bezos, has staged its first test flight – with mixed results. Youtube Video The New Shepard rocket launched from the firm's test site in Texas on Wednesday – although word of the blastoff emerged on Thursday afternoon. It reached its target altitude of 307,000 feet …
Iain Thomson, 01 May 2015
messenger

NASA's Messenger craft SMASHES into Mercury: See ya later, alien crater

Pic NASA's Messenger space probe has slammed into the planet Mercury at 3.9km per second (8,724mph) – creating the first human-made crater on the innermost planet of our solar system. Well I guess it is time to say goodbye to all my friends, family, support team. I will be making my final impact very soon. — MESSENGER (@ …
Iain Thomson, 30 Apr 2015
Raiders of the lost ark

Airbus to sue NSA, German spies accused of swiping tech secrets

European aerospace giant Airbus is promising legal action over claims its top blueprints were stolen by German spies and given to America's intelligence agencies. "We are aware that as a large company in the sector, we are a target and subject of espionage," the company said in a statement to the AFP newswire. "However, in this …
Iain Thomson, 30 Apr 2015
pluto

NASA spies weird glow from Pluto's FRIGID pole

Pic NASA's New Horizons space probe has beamed back photos that seem to show that dwarf planet Pluto has a strange effulgent spot on its pole. Pluto's icy pole The pole shows up as a bright spot on the right of the image The spacecraft is more than 60 million miles away from the tiny world. New images released by NASA at a press …
Iain Thomson, 30 Apr 2015
Rand Paul

Rand Paul is trying to murder net neutrality. Is there a US presidential election, or something?

US presidential wannabe Rand Paul (R-KY) has filed a motion under the Congressional Review Act that could block the introduction of the Democrat-driven net neutrality rules. The joint resolution means both houses of Congress are highly likely to vote on a straight majority basis to reject the broadband regulations, drawn up by …
Iain Thomson, 30 Apr 2015

Calamity cargo capsule DOOMED: Space station pod in fireball re-entry

Vid Roscosmos has written off the Progress supply capsule that was supposed to deliver tons of cargo to the International Space Station. The Russian space agency said the out-of-control craft will burn up within days as it falls back to Earth. Youtube Video Igor Komarov, head of Roscosmos, told a press conference on Wednesday that …
Iain Thomson, 29 Apr 2015
JPMorgan

JP Morgan bank bod accused of flogging customer account info

The FBI has charged a former JP Morgan employee with selling customer information to thieves who wanted to empty accounts without triggering any alarms. Unsealed court records [PDF] recount that Peter Persaud, who worked at JP Morgan's Brooklyn branch, contacted an undercover FBI informant, and allegedly offered to sell him the …
Iain Thomson, 29 Apr 2015
sniper

DARPA's made a SELF-STEERING 50-cal bullet – with video proof

Vid The military boffins at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have shown off how the latest version of their "steerable bullet" lets a complete novice hit a distant target with pinpoint accuracy. EXACTO Live-Fire Tests, February 2015, DARPA The firearms program, dubbed the EXtreme ACcuracy Tasked Ordnance ( …
Iain Thomson, 29 Apr 2015