Iain Thomson

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Idiot brings gun-shaped iPhone to airport

Pic Cops at Stansted airport in Essex, UK, couldn't believe their eyes when a passenger turned up for a flight with what looked like a gun in his bag. The unnamed pillock had chosen to protect his iPhone with a black case that sported a realistic-looking handgun built into the base. It's difficult to see the attraction of such a …
Iain Thomson, 08 Jul 2016
Philando Castile

Facebook ‘glitch’ that deleted the Philando Castile shooting vid: It was the police – sources

The deadly shooting of 32-year-old Philando Castile by a cop during a routine traffic stop in Minnesota on Wednesday just got murkier. Multiple sources have told The Register that police removed video footage of Castile's death from Facebook, potentially tampering with evidence. Castile, his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds, and …
Iain Thomson, 08 Jul 2016
Money falling, image via Shutterstock

Facebook US tax lawsuit

The US Department of Justice has gone to court in California to force Facebook to open up to Uncle Sam's taxmen about its tax dealings. The Internal Revenue Service is examining Facebook's accounts from 2010 – in particular the firm's practice of funneling funds from their worldwide holdings (except in the US and Canada) …
Iain Thomson, 08 Jul 2016
dna

New DNA 'hard drive' could keep files intact for millions of years

Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) and Microsoft have managed to write data directly onto DNA, a format with dramatic storage densities and a very long life. The team wrote 200MB onto strands of synthetic DNA, including video footage of the band OK Go, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in more than 100 …
Iain Thomson, 07 Jul 2016
Static

Philando Castile death-by-cop vid mysteriously vanishes from Facebook

Updated Since the publication of this story, new information has come to light. Read: Facebook ‘glitch’ that deleted the Philando Castile shooting vid – it was the police, claim sources When Minnesota police shot and killed Philando Castile during a routine traffic stop on Wednesday evening, his girlfriend broadcast his final moments …
Iain Thomson, 07 Jul 2016
Kevin Turner

Microsoft COO jumps ship

Kevin Turner has ended his 11-year stint as chief operating officer for Microsoft and is moving to become CEO of financial firm Citadel Securities. Turner was one of the most reviled senior managers at Redmond and his departure has been expected for some time. He was hired by Steve Ballmer from Walmart, where he spent 20 years …
Iain Thomson, 07 Jul 2016
flames_648

Remember those stupid hoverboards? 500,000+ recalled in the US after they started exploding

Vid Half a million hoverboard users should hotfoot it to the hardware's makers and get a replacement, lest they go up in flames. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission issued recall notices against 10 manufacturers and retailers for 501,300 self-balancing scooters aka hoverboards. The lithium-ion batteries powering the gizmos …
Iain Thomson, 07 Jul 2016
A group of people hold out mobile phones in a circle. Photo by Shutterstock

The truth about Silent Circle's super-secure, hyper-privacy phones: No one's buying them

It seems that the Blackphone, the handset created by Silent Circle and Spanish firm Geeksphone, isn't as popular as its makers would like. Geeksphone has sued [PDF] its erstwhile partner for $5m in a New York court, claiming that disappointing hardware sales have crippled the partnership and left the Switzerland-based Silent …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jul 2016
danger

Attention, small biz using Symantec AV: Smash up your PCs, it's the safest thing to do

If you're using Symantec's Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition (SEP SBE) then you can forget about security for a week or so, as the company won't be patching the "as bad as it gets" security holes in its software for a while. A Register reader who wishes to remain anonymous received an email from Symantec confirming …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jul 2016
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820

Huge double boxset of Android patches lands after Qualcomm disk encryption blown open

Google has released two bundles of Android security patches this month: a smaller one to handle bugs in the operating system, and a larger package that tackles a raft of driver-level issues, particularly with Qualcomm's hardware. The first tranche of patches includes eight critical, 11 high severity, and nine fixes that are …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jul 2016
Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning 'suicide bid'

Imprisoned WikiLeaker Chelsea Manning has been hospitalized after what was reportedly a suicide attempt. Manning, 28, is serving a 35-year prison sentence for leaking over 700,000 Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports and State Department diplomatic cables, and video of a US airstrike killing a Reuters journalist and his …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jul 2016
Mars impact

Space prang of cosmic proportions blamed for giving Mars its moons

Vid A new study suggests the early history of Mars was incredibly violent and the planet's two small moons are the sole surviving remnants of what was once a shimmering halo. Mars has two moons – Phobos and Deimos (from the Greek words for fear and dread respectively) – but they are tiny, misshapen planetoids, just 22 and 13km (14 …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jul 2016

EasyDoc malware adds Tor backdoor to Macs for botnet control

Security firm Bitdefender has issued an alert about a malicious app that hands over control of Macs to criminals via Tor. The software, called EasyDoc Converter.app, is supposed to be a file converter but doesn't do its advertised functions. Instead it drops complex malware onto the system that subverts the security of the …
Iain Thomson, 05 Jul 2016

Cracking Android's full-disk encryption is easy on millions of phones – with a little patience

Android's full-disk encryption on millions of devices can be cracked by brute-force much more easily than expected – and there's working code to prove it. Essentially, if someone seizes your Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered phone, they can potentially decrypt its file system's contents with a friendly Python script without knowing …
Iain Thomson, 01 Jul 2016
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

We'll smash probe into comet 300 million miles away for kicks, er, sorry, ... for science

The European Space Agency (ESA) has set the date for the Rosetta probe's deathday and says that on September 30 the spacecraft will crash into the comet it has been orbiting for nearly two years. With Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko more than 300 million miles from Earth and heading out toward Jupiter, the spacecraft's solar …
Iain Thomson, 01 Jul 2016

Man killed in gruesome Tesla autopilot crash was saved by his car's software weeks earlier

An investigation was launched today after the driver of a Tesla was killed in what is understood to be a malfunction of the car's autopilot. Joshua Brown, a 40-year-old Ohio man, was killed on May 7 while driving his 2015 Tesla Model S on Route 27 in Florida. The car was using the optional autopilot system, which controls the …
Iain Thomson, 30 Jun 2016
Android Nougat

Google licks Android Nougat

Google has named the next major update to its Android operating system Nougat aka Android N. Introducing #AndroidNougat. Thank you, world, for all your sweet name ideas! #AndroidNReveal pic.twitter.com/7lIfDBwyBE — Android (@Android) June 30, 2016 Google asked the public to send in suggestions for naming the new build – …
Iain Thomson, 30 Jun 2016

Honey, why are porno apps on your Android?! Er, um, malware did it!

Security researchers are warning about the continuing spread of Hummer, a powerful trojan that roots handsets, downloads pornographic applications, and displays pop-up ads at random intervals. Hummer first came up on the logs of Cheetah Mobile's security team in August 2014, but spent eight months in obscurity before starting …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jun 2016
AWS boss Andy Jassy speaking at AWS SFO Summit 2015

AWS Elastic File System is go

Amazon Web Services has taken its Elastic File System (EFS) storage service live in three regions after over a year in preview testing. The EFS system was rolled out as a preview a year ago April, and the firm said it's now live in the US East (Northern Virginia), US West (Oregon), and Europe (Ireland) regions. The service …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jun 2016
Wall Street Charlie Sheen

Cali bloke accused of illegally trousering $68k using mom's Apple AuthenTec gobble tip-off

A California chap is accused of illegally using inside information to pocket more than $68,000 when Apple took over mobile security biz AuthenTec. Andrew Kerr, 41, of Livermore, allegedly got a tip-off from his mom about the upcoming acquisition and immediately bought a bunch of shares in AuthenTec. She learned of the deal …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jun 2016
ERD

Florida man sues Apple for $10bn, claims iPod, iPhone was his idea

A Florida man is suing Apple for $10bn and demanding a 0.5 per cent cut of future sales – because the iPhone, iPod and iPad allegedly ripped off his ideas. In 1992, Thomas S. Ross filed a US patent for a rectangular device with rounded corners and a backlit screen that could play music, store books, or have mobile …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jun 2016
Ron Wyden

US Senator Wyden: Why I had to halt FBI's latest internet spying push

US Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has placed a hold on the 2017 Intelligence Authorization Bill – because it would allow the FBI to snoop on people's browser histories without a court order, and weakens oversight of the intelligence community. The bill as it stands would allow the Feds to use National Security Letters (NSLs) – which …
Iain Thomson, 28 Jun 2016
Alpha

You can be my wingman any time! RaspBerry Pi AI waxes Air Force top gun's tail in dogfights

Today's generation of fighter pilots could be the last of their breed, thanks to an AI system dubbed ALPHA that's proving unkillable in air combat. The US Air Force has just completed dogfighting trials in a simulator, pitching the software against retired Air Force Colonel Gene Lee. The AI – which ran on a $35 RaspberryPi …
Iain Thomson, 28 Jun 2016

25,000 malware-riddled CCTV cameras form network-crashing botnet

A massive network of hacked CCTV cameras is being used to bring down computers around the world, we're told. The unusual 25,000-strong botnet was apparently spotted by US security outfit Sucuri when it investigated an online assault against an ordinary jewelry store. The shop's website was flooded offline after drowning in 35 …
Iain Thomson, 28 Jun 2016
Vuture Velo cycling jersey

Magnetic, heat scanners to catch Tour de France electric motor cheats

Extra technology is being wheeled out for this year's Tour de France to scan bikes for hidden electric engines. In the past few years, there have been several cases of cyclists concealing small battery-powered motors in the tubes of their velocipedes to give a bit of extra speed during competitions. To protect the integrity …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jun 2016