Iain Thomson

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TITSUP Russian cargo pod is spinning OUT OF CONTROL in SPACE

Video Russia has lost control of its Progress cargo capsule that was due to deliver 6,000lb of supplies to the International Space Station. The craft is tumbling around our planet as controllers try to establish contact. Youtube video The Progress 59 space-mule lifted off flawlessly from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 0309 EDT …
Iain Thomson, 28 Apr 2015
America

WHY can't Silicon Valley create breakable non-breakable encryption, cry US politicians

Analysis At last week's RSA security conference, the halls were full of government speakers telling the tech community that it must do the impossible: invent a form of encryption that's strong, but also easy for law enforcement to crack. Ever since Apple and Google enabled full-device encryption by default on their mobile operating …
Iain Thomson, 28 Apr 2015
spacex

SpaceX in MONEY RING shot, no spare juice for tail backdown this time

Pic For the second time in a month, Elon's Musk-eteers at upstart rocket startup SpaceX have fired cargo into space – this time delivering the first satellite owned and operated by the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan. The launch was delayed slightly due to thick overhead clouds and thunderstorms in the area, but a gap in the …
Iain Thomson, 28 Apr 2015
WordPress

Comments considered harmful: WordPress web hijack bug revealed

A frustrated Finnish security researcher has gone public with a vulnerability in WordPress that lets attackers hijack website admin accounts. The flaw was found by Jouko Pynnönen, and is a cross-site scripting (XSS) bug similar to one patched last week. It is buried within the widely used web publishing software's comments …
Iain Thomson, 27 Apr 2015
Hubble anniversary image

Hubble hits 25th anniversary IN SPAAACE – time for telescope to come home

Pics On 24 April, 1990, the space shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida carrying a very special cargo: 24,490lbs (11,110kg) of advanced optics, electronics, and antennas that made up the Hubble Space Telescope. The 'scope has revolutionised our understanding of the universe, in part thanks to five …
Iain Thomson, 25 Apr 2015
Percentage of mobile malware on Android

Fandroids, take your phone's antivirus and burn it – Android bod

RSA 2015 Google takes a lot of stick from Apple and others over malware on the Android platform, but the company thinks the OS is now so secure that users don't need antivirus software. Speaking at the RSA Conference in San Francisco this week, Adrian Ludwig, lead engineer for Android security, explained that Google is now scanning for …
Iain Thomson, 24 Apr 2015

ZOMBIE Google Glass 2 FEEDS ON Italian BRAINS, says specs supremo

Italian eyewear maker Luxottica has been working with Google engineers to come up with a new version of Glass – adding further weight to the suggestion the project isn't truly dead. The ad giant killed off Glass 1.0 sales in January after the unpopular program jumped the tracks. In March, Google's exec chairman Eric Schmidt …
Iain Thomson, 24 Apr 2015
David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell

Licence to chill: Ex-CIA spyboss Petraeus gets probation for leaking US secrets to his mistress

General David Petraeus – the former head of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and briefly the head of the CIA – has been sentenced to two years' probation and fined $100,000 after admitting leaking America's secrets to his lover. Married Petraeus, 62, handed over military logs containing classified material to his official …
Iain Thomson, 24 Apr 2015
Liam Neeson Taken

Ransomware crims drop Bitcoin faster than Google axes services

RSA 2015 The falling price of Bitcoin is forcing ransomware masterminds to convert the crypto-currency as soon as they can. Rather than holding on to their ill-gotten BTC, the crims are simply laundering the ransom money as soon as possible. "I've seen this discussion in underground forums among Russian criminals," Etay Maor, senior …
Iain Thomson, 24 Apr 2015
Congress

America's cyber-security proto-laws branded 'surveillance in disguise'

The US House of Representatives has passed not one but two computer security bills that allow companies and Uncle Sam to share information about citizens, cyber-attacks and software vulnerabilities – and removes any legal liabilities for firms doing so. The Protecting Cyber Networks Act [PDF] (PCNA), which passed by 307 votes to …
Iain Thomson, 23 Apr 2015
windows 10 microsoft one windows

Windows 10 Device Guard: Microsoft's effort to keep malware off PCs

RSA 2015 On Wednesday, at the RSA conference in San Francisco, Microsoft veep Scott Charney outlined a new security mechanism in Windows 10 called Device Guard. We've taken a closer look. The details are a little vague – more information will emerge at the Build event next week – but from what we can tell, Device Guard wraps an extra …
Iain Thomson, 23 Apr 2015

Facebook, Google execs cough to their biggest privacy blunders

RSA 2015 Facebook, Google and Microsoft spent a few minutes today discussing at this year's RSA conference in San Francisco how they attempt to protect your privacy. El Reg asked execs present from the trio of tech giants to name their biggest privacy cockups, and surprisingly two out of the three had an answer. "Beacon might be a good …
Iain Thomson, 22 Apr 2015
America

Republicans in sneaky bid to reauthorize Patriot Act spying until 2020

The US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has introduced a bill to reauthorize Section 215 of the Patriot Act to allow mass surveillance of innocent American citizens until December 31, 2020. Section 215 is due to expire on June 1, and there are going to be various attempts to either reform or abandon the provision. …
Iain Thomson, 22 Apr 2015
Clint Eastwood bounty hunter

Throwing money at bug bounties won't beat zero-day dark markets

RSA 2015 The first academic study into the market for zero-day flaws has shown some surprising results, not least that throwing money at ever-larger bug bounty payouts might well be counterproductive. The research – which was carried out by MIT principal research scientist Michael Siegel and Katie Moussouris, chief policy officer of bug …
Iain Thomson, 22 Apr 2015
America

White House cyber-general says US must be able to cyber-nuke the worst of the cyber-worst

RSA 2015 The US government must hone its offensive capabilities to electronically attack those who menace America's interests, said the White House's Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel, quickly adding global ground rules for cyber-war have to be worked out first. On April 1, President Obama signed an executive order that would …
Iain Thomson, 21 Apr 2015
Vampire squid

VAMPIRE SQUID romps stun scientists: Unique sex lives revealed

Pic Scientists studying vampire squid have discovered the weird creatures of the vasty deep are unique among their class in the way they reproduce. Cephalopods, which include squid and octopuses, breed at the very end of their life cycles, funneling all their energy into creating eggs that are released shortly before the parent dies …
Iain Thomson, 21 Apr 2015
makerbot

Makerbot axes 'scores of staff' – 3D printing just doesn't pay the bills

3D printing pioneers Makerbot has culled roughly 80 employees at its Brooklyn headquarters, abolished three divisions, and closed three of its shops. "We at MakerBot are reorganizing our business in order to focus on what matters most to our customers. As part of this, we have implemented expense reductions, downsized our staff …
Iain Thomson, 17 Apr 2015
Drone strike simulation

US Navy's LOCUST DRONE CANNON is like death SWARMED up

Vid Drones are going to play a big part in future conflicts, and the US Office of Naval Research (ONR) knows it. The boffinry nerve-center has been showing off its latest idea – the Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology (LOCUST) that will throw massive swarms of networked aircraft into the skies to search for the enemy. Youtube Video …
Iain Thomson, 17 Apr 2015
SpaceX Dragon docking

One small shot for Man, one espresso maker IN SPAAACE: Dragon snatched by ISS

+Vid SpaceX has completed its sixth supply run to the International Space Station: the Dragon capsule, loaded up with cargo and launched on Tuesday, has finally arrived at the orbiting science lab. The space station's Canadian-built robot arm captured the capsule at 0655 ET (1155 UTC) after SpaceX engineers guided it in a slow but …
Iain Thomson, 17 Apr 2015
messenger

Don't shoot the Messenger: NASA's suicide probe to punch hole in Mercury

+Vid On April 30, a 16-metre-wide crater will be formed on the surface of Mercury by the hand of Man. Well, actually, by NASA's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (Messenger) spacecraft, which will end its 11-year mission by piling into the planet's surface at 3.9km per second (8,724 MPH). The probe is …
Iain Thomson, 17 Apr 2015

Sysadmins, patch now: HTTP 'pings of death' are spewing across web to kill Windows servers

The SANS Institute has warned Windows IIS web server admins to get patching as miscreants are now exploiting a flaw in the software to crash websites. The security bug (CVE-2015-1635) allows attackers to knock web servers offline by sending a simple HTTP request. Microsoft fixed this denial-of-service vulnerability on Tuesday …
Iain Thomson, 16 Apr 2015
troll

Someone PLEASE stop patent trolls' stroking their favorite tool, cries Google and friends

A consortium of tech giants have written to senior US politicians demanding a reform of the International Trade Commission, one of America's key federal watchdogs. The biz goliaths, represented by the ITC Working Group, claim patent trolls are unfairly using the commission to extract money from their coffers, and hamper …
Iain Thomson, 16 Apr 2015
Sad cloud

IBM’s 700TB security threat database enters the cloud. Look to the heavens, hackers

IBM is putting its massive threat database up into the cloud for researchers, IT administrators, and anyone else to access in the hope of fundamentally changing how security companies defend against attackers. "Information sharing is something that has been discussed in legislation, within the industry, and between companies but …
Iain Thomson, 16 Apr 2015
Silhouette of spy discerning password from code uses a command on graphic user interface

'Arkansas cops tried to hack me with malware-ridden hard drive'

A lawyer representing three police whistleblowers has claimed a hard drive sent to him with evidence for his case was deliberately infected with password-stealing malware. Matthew Campbell, a lawyer with the Pinnacle Law Firm in North Little Rock, Arkansas, is working on behalf of three past and present officers of the Fort …
Iain Thomson, 15 Apr 2015
pluto

NASA probe sent to faraway planet finds DWARF world instead: Pics

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has taken the first true color photograph of Pluto and its largest moon Charon – all while speeding toward the dwarf planet at four kilometres a second (8,950 miles per hour). The pictures were taken from around 115 million kilometres (71 million miles) away and so are somewhat blobby to say the …
Iain Thomson, 15 Apr 2015
Microsoft's telepresence teaser

Microsoft points at Skype, Lync: You two, in my office – right now

Microsoft has confirmed it will roll out Skype for Business – the service formerly known as Microsoft Lync – across its subscription-based Office 365 cloud this month. "Skype for Business Online is now rolling out to Office 365 customers worldwide, and we expect the roll out to be complete by the end of May," said the Skype team …
Iain Thomson, 15 Apr 2015
SpaceX CRS-6 launch

Easy ... easy ... Aw CRAP! SpaceX rocket ALMOST lands on ocean hoverbase

Vid SpaceX very nearly landed the lower stage of its Falcon 9 rocket in one piece at sea on Tuesday – as the capsule payload of the rocket successfully made its way towards the International Space Station. The rocket, carrying a Dragon cargo capsule loaded with supplies for the space station, blasted off on schedule, and separated …
Iain Thomson, 14 Apr 2015

Selfie sticks BANNED by Apple: No hipster tools' tools allowed at WWDC

Apple is selling tickets to this year's Worldwide Developers Conference – though if you get hold of one, leave your selfie stick in the hotel room. Those wishing to attend have until Friday to register for Cupertino's lottery system. The confab will be held between June 8 and 12 in San Francisco's Moscone West conference center …
Iain Thomson, 14 Apr 2015
SpaceX CRS-6 patch

HOVER ROCKET space station podule mission LIGHTNING HOLD DRAMA

NASA has postponed today's launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket – loaded up with supplies for the International Space Station, including a new espresso coffee machine – after an approaching storm started blasting out. The craft was set to liftoff about an hour ago from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Launch postponed due to lightning …
Iain Thomson, 13 Apr 2015
Ransom note saying "Pay Up" in blackmail type

Welcome to the FUTURE: Maine cops pay Bitcoin ransom to end office hostage drama

Blundering cops in Maine, US, have enriched malware masterminds by paying up to decrypt files held hostage by ransomware. Four city police departments and a sheriff's office in Lincoln County share a common computer network run by Burgess Computer, which hosts the plods' administrative files. Then one day the entire system was …
Iain Thomson, 13 Apr 2015
Toilet

Grandmaster FLUSH: Chess champ booted for allegedly cheating with iPod app in the loo

A chess grandmaster has been thrown out of an international tournament after he allegedly used an Apple iPod hidden in a toilet cubicle to cheat. Gaioz Nigalidze, Georgia's national chess champion, was playing Armenian granmaster Tigran Petrosian at the prestigious Dubai Open tournament over the weekend when his repeated trips …
Iain Thomson, 13 Apr 2015
troll

Tech troll's podcasting patent blown out of the water by EFF torpedo

US patent judges have invalidated chunks of a podcasting patent used by troll non-practicing entity Personal Audio LLC to extract money from top podcasters and broadcasters. Personal Audio doesn't produce podcasting software or hardware; its sole purpose is to sue people who allegedly infringe the patents it holds in the …
Iain Thomson, 11 Apr 2015
SpaceX' autonomous spaceport drone ship

Urine for a treat this Monday, ISS 'nauts: SpaceX to launch pee-powered coffee pot

Vid SpaceX is preparing to send a load of supplies up to the International Space Station – a resupply mission due to launch on Monday at 1633 EDT (2033 UTC, 1333 PDT). Three miutes after takeoff, the reusable first stage of the Falcon rocket carrying the cargo will separate and be piloted back to Earth, so SpaceX can try to land the …
Iain Thomson, 10 Apr 2015
Xeon E7 die

US govt bans Intel from selling chips to China's supercomputer boffins

The US government has blocked Intel from shipping high-end Xeon processors to China's supercomputer builders – and other American chip giants are banned, too. Intel confirmed to The Register last night it was refused permission to sell the chips to the Middle Kingdom's defense labs and other parts of its supercomputing industry …
Iain Thomson, 10 Apr 2015
Indian riot

Indian cops spice up protests with pepper spray-armed DRONES

Police are increasingly using drones these days to snoop on activists and track down demonstrators plus the occasional criminal. Now Indian police are going to use them for riot control by loading up the aerial gizmos with pepper spray. Lucknow police have bought four of the offensive drones for use in crowd control, and each …
Iain Thomson, 10 Apr 2015
Xiaomi World Record

Who is the fastest-selling phone maker of ALL TIME? Samsung? Apple? No, it's Xiaomi

The bods behind the Guinness World Records has awarded Xiaomi a certificate for the "most mobile phones sold on a single online platform in 24 hours." The Chinese electronics giant holds an annual Mi Fan Festival on the anniversary of its founding, and flings discounts at its fans to chivvy them along. This year, on April 8, the …
Iain Thomson, 09 Apr 2015
Giant impact, common at the end of planet formation

RELICS of the Earth's long lost TWIN planet FOUND ON MOON

Our Moon was born after a young Earth smashed its twin Theia, scientists writing in three studies just published by Nature have suggested. Their intriguing evidence reveals the Moon's origins may have been more incestuous than previously thought. Since the 1980s, scientists studying the Moon have largely agreed on the "giant …
Iain Thomson, 09 Apr 2015

Ex-cop: Holborn fireball comms outage cover for £200m bling heist gang

Last Wednesday's blaze in Holborn, which knocked out power and internet access across London, could have been sparked by thieves pulling a daring heist to pocket £200m in precious stones and metals. "I think that probably was deliberate," John O’Connor, former head of Scotland Yard's Flying Squad told capital radio station LBC …
Iain Thomson, 09 Apr 2015
Mars glaciers

Drill, baby, drill: HIDDEN glaciers ON MARS hold 150bn cubic metres of precious frozen WATER

Pic Those terraformers with a dream of one day seeing a blue or even green Mars could be in luck. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has found dusty glaciers encircling the Red Planet that could water Martian gardens for generations to come. Boffins at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen used radar measurements …
Iain Thomson, 08 Apr 2015

Using Office 365 at work? It's dangerous to go alone! Take this...

Microsoft is adding some security tools, dubbed Advanced Threat Protection, to Office 365 for its business and government subscribers. The utilities will try to curb malware writers and phishers seeking to exploit vulnerabilities via emailed attachments and links. "As hackers around the globe launch increasingly sophisticated …
Iain Thomson, 08 Apr 2015
911

FCC taps CenturyLink on shoulder, mumbles about a fine for THAT six-hour 911 outage

US comms regulator the FCC has fined CenturyLink $16m (£10.8m) for a network outage that left 11 million Americans unable to make 911 calls. CenturyLink made a $772m (£520m) profit in 2014. Last month, the watchdog charged Verizon $3.4m for its part in the downtime – and this week has smacked down the ISP and telco CenturyLink. …
Iain Thomson, 08 Apr 2015
brontosaurus

Bone-tastic boffins' breakthrough BRINGS BACK BRONTOSAURUS

The brontosaurus, loved by kids the world over but cruelly snubbed by paleontologists for more than a century, is back. British and Portuguese fossil boffins have concluded the dinosaur existed as a separate genus after all. It was back in 1879 that paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh named a collection of bones a brontosaurus …
Iain Thomson, 07 Apr 2015
Children cocaine advert

You. FTC. Get over here. Google is INVADING our children's MINDS – anti-ad campaigners

Think-of-the-children types are urging US watchdog the FTC to investigate Google's YouTube Kids app – claiming it insidiously influences the minds of precious little snowflakes with advertising. "YouTube Kids is the most hyper-commercialized media environment for children I have ever seen," commented Dale Kunkel, a professor of …
Iain Thomson, 07 Apr 2015
Aluminum battery

Aluminum bendy battery is boffins' answer to EXPLODING Li-ion menace

Vid Stanford University eggheads have revealed a prototype aluminum battery that's apparently rechargeable, flexible and cheap, and could replace lithium-ion and alkaline batteries. New aluminium-ion battery from Stanford "We have developed a rechargeable aluminum battery that may replace existing storage devices, such as alkaline …
Iain Thomson, 07 Apr 2015
Bender the robot from Futurama bends an unbendable girder

Samsung's bend blame blast: We DEMAND a Galaxy S6 Edge do-over

Vid Samsung is disputing claims that its Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone is just as bendy as Apple's iPhone 6 Plus – and has put together a video to make its point. Galaxy S6 and S6 edge 80lbf Three-Point Bend Test Last week consumer electronics insurer SquareTrade put the two handsets, and the HTC One M9, through some bending tests, and …
Iain Thomson, 06 Apr 2015

Don't be stiffed by spies, stand up to Uncle Sam with your proud d**k pics – says Snowden

Vid One of the more unusual interviews with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden left the fugitive reduced to describing freedom-chilling, globe-spanning spy programs in terms of sexy selfies. Youtube video The face-to-face chat was filmed in Moscow with British comedian John Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight, and focused on the …
Iain Thomson, 06 Apr 2015
Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning sets up low-tech Twitter account from prison

After being held virtually incommunicado for more than three years, Chelsea Manning, WikiLeaks' first US military mole, has set up a Twitter account and relayed her first messages from inside Fort Leavenworth military prison. This is my new twitter account =P — Chelsea Manning (@xychelsea) April 3, 2015 I’m hoping to stay …
Iain Thomson, 03 Apr 2015
headshot

Sony nabs cloud gamers OnLive, administers swift headshot

Subscribers to the OnLive cloud gaming service have just 27 days of playing time left before the corporate servers that host their fragging sessions are to be shut down by Sony, which announced that it had acquired the service on Thursday. "It is with great sadness that we must bring the OnLive Game Service to a close," the …
Iain Thomson, 03 Apr 2015
Percentage of mobile malware on Android

Got an Android mobe with a virus? Congrats, you're The One Per Cent

Android has been known to be the mobile malware industry's operating system of choice. Now Google has published a report claiming infection rates on Android devices are much lower than you might expect. While the overwhelming majority of mobile malware is written for Google-powered gadgets, the report claims that in 2014 less …
Iain Thomson, 03 Apr 2015

Dot-com intimidation forces Indiana to undo hated anti-gay law

Indiana's politicians are racing to "clarify" the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that has caused such a kerfuffle in the state. Technology giants like Apple, Salesforce.com, Oracle, EMC, Pivotal, and Angie's List led the charge against the law, which would have allowed business owners to boot out customers who offended …
Iain Thomson, 02 Apr 2015