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Iain Thomson

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'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has extended the deadline for public comment on its net neutrality proposals – after a flood of traffic borked the agency's website yet again. At the heart of the proposals are rules that could allow huge corporations to pay for prioritized internet traffic. While on the one hand, …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jul 2014

Listen: WORST EVER customer service call – Comcast is 'very embarrassed'

Comcast has apologized to a subscriber who was subjected to a haranguing customer service call when he tried to cancel his account. Ryan Block, a VP of product at AOL and a former tech blogger, was moving home and taking the opportunity to scrap his Comcast service after nine years. The only problem was that the customer service …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jul 2014
Shot of D-Wave's 16 qubit chip

D-Wave to bust 1,000-qubit barrier with new quantum compute device

D-Wave is planning a big expansion into quantum computing hardware and their software, helped in part by $30m in extra funding from venture capitalists. Vern Brownell, CEO of D-Wave, told The Register that his firm will use the bulk of the cash injection to expand out its software side to make it easier for customers to use the …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jul 2014
cable

Hackers' delight: Hotel cyber-cafe, er, business centers, apparently – US Secret Service

The US Secret Service has quietly warned hotels that malware slingers are increasingly targeting PCs in hotel business centers to harvest sensitive information. In a non-public advisory, obtained by investigative journalist Brian Krebs, law enforcement officials have arrested members of a criminal gang that is accused of …
Iain Thomson, 14 Jul 2014
The Falcon 9 at Cape Canaveral

SpaceX FINALLY lobs six sats into orbit (don't mention the landing)

SpaceX has successfully launched six new communications satellites for Orbcomm after months of delays. However, Elon Musk's rocketeers had less success at landing the used Falcon 9 rocket after its delivery. The Orbcomm birds will be used solely in a machine-to-machine communications network run by the company, and will …
Iain Thomson, 14 Jul 2014

Space geeks' resurrected NASA Sun probe ISEE-3 now on collision course with THE MOON

The attempt by a team of crowdfunded space hackers to recover one of NASA's most historic satellites has run into problems: the spacecraft's engines are stubbornly refusing to fire, leaving it on a possible collision course with the Moon. The ISEE-3 reboot Team Space hacking team has the right stuff Last week the team …
Iain Thomson, 11 Jul 2014
sniper t-shirt 24.7.03

Watch: DARPA shows off first successful test of STEERABLE bullet

The military boffins at DARPA have just released footage of their first successful shots of a bullet dubbed EXACTO (EXtreme ACcuracy Tasked Ordnance) that can be steered onto a target when fired from a standard rifle. The video, shot at a government firing range in February and April, shows two .50-cal rounds maneuvering in …
Iain Thomson, 11 Jul 2014
Gold Hat stinking badges

FCC commish: We don't need no steenkin' net neutrality rules

There's no need to issue new network neutrality rules since they wouldn't necessarily have any benefit, and people don’t really care about network performance issues, according to US FCC commissioner Michael O’Reilly. The Republican commissioner made the comments in an op-ed piece for National Review, co-written with …
Iain Thomson, 11 Jul 2014

German government orders local CIA station chief to pack his bags

The German government has ordered the local station chief of the CIA to leave the country immediately – after a second German government official was arrested in an investigation into US surveillance on its erstwhile ally. "The representative of the US intelligence services at the embassy of the United States of America has been …
Iain Thomson, 10 Jul 2014

Dodgy Google, Yahoo! SSL certs nuked in Windows – finally

One week after Google spotted an SSL certificate issuer dishing out certs that could be used to impersonate Google and Yahoo! websites, Microsoft has taken action to block the illicit certificates from being used on its software. The certs, issued by India's National Informatics Centre (NIC), were detected on July 2 by Google's …
Iain Thomson, 10 Jul 2014
EU Kids Online

Bezos house 'on FIRE': Amazon in-app kiddy megabuck charge storm

The US Federal Trade Commission (FCC) has filed a lawsuit against mighty online etailer Amazon, claiming the business's in-app purchase system wrongly charged consumers millions of dollars. The suit also claims Bezos & Co knew about the problem and did nothing to rectify it. "As internal emails uncovered in our investigation …
Iain Thomson, 10 Jul 2014

Call girl injected Google exec with heroin, drank wine, left him to die – cops claim

A woman described as a high-priced escort by cops has been charged with the manslaughter of a Google executive found dead in his yacht after a heroin overdose. Alix Catherine Tichelman Mug shot ... Alix Catherine Tichelman Alix Catherine Tichelman, 26, was arrested in a sting operation on July 4 in connection with the death …
Iain Thomson, 10 Jul 2014
White flag

What's that burning tire smell? It's Microsoft screeching away from the No-IP car crash

Microsoft has settled its legal fight with Vitalwerks, the owner of the No-IP dynamic DNS service that Redmond crippled last week. Last week Microsoft was granted a temporary restraining order against No-IP – and was handed control of 23 of its domains after convincing a Nevada judge that the DDNS service was acting as a conduit …
Iain Thomson, 09 Jul 2014
Cat 5 cable

10Gbps over crumbling COPPER: Boffins cram bits down telco wire

Bell Labs has pumped data faster than ever before down antiquated copper wiring. The boffins used a frequency modulation system that they claim will be perfect for hooking up aging telco cables to future broadband fiber networks. The technique is based on the G.fast standard being considered by the International …
Iain Thomson, 09 Jul 2014

FAKE Google web SSL certificates tip-toe out from Indian authorities

Google is warning that dodgy SSL certificates have been issued by India's National Informatics Centre (NIC): these certs can be used by servers to masquerade as legit Google websites and eavesdrop on or tamper with users' encrypted communications. According to this blog post by Google's security team, the Googlers noticed …
Iain Thomson, 09 Jul 2014

How to make $7,000 a month and benefits: Be a teen tech INTERN

Summer is here again, and technology firms have made a big push to recruit the best young talent with massive salaries and a host of perks. Facebook, for example, has just hired 17-year-old Michael Sayman to code at Menlo Park after flying him out to Facebook headquarters to meet its behoodied founder in person. Sayman got …
Iain Thomson, 08 Jul 2014

Russian MP fears US Secret Service cuffed his son for Snowden swap

The US Secret Service has announced the arrest of a man accused of being "one of the world's most prolific traffickers in stolen financial information," touching off a diplomatic firestorm in the process. Roman Valerevich Seleznev, who goes by the online handle Track2, is accused of hacking into point-of-sale systems to steal …
Iain Thomson, 08 Jul 2014
Feinstein

Cyber-Senate's cyber-security cyber-law cyber-scares cyber-rights cyber-fighters

On Tuesday the US Senate will meet in a closed-door session to mark up the forthcoming Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2014 (CISA) – and the proposed new rules on data sharing between big biz and government have privacy groups seriously worried. CISA is an offshoot of the proposed Cyber Intelligence Sharing and …
Iain Thomson, 08 Jul 2014
Fail and You

Vid shows how to easily hack 'anti-spy' webmail (sorry, ProtonMail)

A security researcher has demonstrated a classic JavaScript-injection attack against ProtonMail – the webmail system developed by boffins and CERN to withstand surveillance by the world's intelligence agencies. German security expert Thomas Roth published a video over the weekend showing how he exploited a trivial …
Iain Thomson, 07 Jul 2014
isee3

It's alive! Space hackers fire up zombie Sun probe's engines

An international team of space geeks has successfully fired up the engines of long-defunct NASA satellite ISEE-3. Now the gang says it'll try to kick the bird into an Earth orbit that will enable it to carry on performing the mission it was launched for 36 years ago. ISEE-3 team celebrates Team celebrates the rocket's red …
Iain Thomson, 07 Jul 2014
A boat full of Fail

EPIC FAIL, FACEBOOK: FTC complaint against creepy mind games filed

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has filed an official complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over an experiment in which Facebook "purposefully messed with people’s minds." "Facebook altered the News Feeds of Facebook users to elicit positive and negative emotional responses," the complaint claims …
Iain Thomson, 03 Jul 2014

Windows users: You get a patch! And you get a patch! And you get a patch! Everybody gets...

Microsoft has issued its usual warning to admins ahead of this month's Patch Tuesday – and servers are getting some serious fixes. Redmond will be pinging out six parcels of patches; two critical batches, three important and one rated moderate – the latter covering the service bus for Windows Server. But Windows RT, Server 2008 …
Iain Thomson, 03 Jul 2014
NSA parody T-shirt

Use Tor or 'extremist' Tails Linux? Congrats, you're on an NSA list

Alleged leaked documents about the NSA's XKeyscore snooping software appear to show the paranoid agency is targeting Tor and Tails users, Linux Journal readers – and anyone else interested in online privacy. At the heart of the claims is this sample configuration file for the XKeyscore system. The top-secret documents were …
Iain Thomson, 03 Jul 2014

HDMI, thy end is near: Qualcomm's Wilocity gobble will let mobes, tabs beam 4K vid to TVs

Qualcomm has snapped up WiGig pioneer Wilocity so it combine traditional Wi-Fi and super-fast 802.11ad on a single chunk of Snapdragon silicon for mobile gadgets. "WiGig will play an important role in Qualcomm's strategy to address consumers' increasingly sophisticated smartphone, tablet and computing requirements," said Amir …
Iain Thomson, 03 Jul 2014

Amazon snubs FTC: We'll see you in court over kids' in-app cash blowouts

Amazon has said it won't acquiesce to the Federal Trade Commission's plans to punish it for not preventing kids from running up in-app purchases on mummy and daddy's credit card. The FTC is seeking a punitive fine from Amazon, similar to the one levied on Apple. The agency says Amazon wasn't quick enough to crack down on …
Iain Thomson, 02 Jul 2014

EFF sues NSA over snoops 'hoarding' zero-day security bugs

Intelligence agencies are among the most prolific buyers of zero-day computer security flaws that can be used to spy on enemies foreign and domestic, or so it's claimed – and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has launched a lawsuit to find out what exactly they are doing with them. "Since these vulnerabilities potentially …
Iain Thomson, 02 Jul 2014
Buncefield fire scene

Sorry, chaps! We didn't mean to steamroller legit No-IP users – Microsoft

Microsoft has admitted that it did disrupt a significant number of legitimate users of No-IP's dynamic DNS service, but says the problem is now sorted out. "Yesterday morning, Microsoft took steps to disrupt a cyber-attack that surreptitiously installed malware on millions of devices without their owners' knowledge through the …
Iain Thomson, 01 Jul 2014
Picard Facepalm

PayPal says sorry: Fat fingers froze fundraiser for anti-spy ProtonMail

PayPal has lifted its embargo on ProtonMail, the Swiss startup raising funds via Indiegogo to build a communications system hardened against surveillance. The payment giant claims the account freeze wasn't a matter of policy, but a simple cock-up. We are happy to announce that @PayPal has restored our account access. Thanks …
Iain Thomson, 01 Jul 2014
Super Earth

SUPER EARTH possibly home to life FOUND in our 'solar backyard'

A team led by Australian astronomers has discovered a huge planet relatively close to Earth that resides in the so-called Goldilocks zone, where conditions are right for liquid water to exist on the surface. GJ 832 c has a mass about five times that of Earth and orbits a red dwarf star every 16 days. The newly discovered planet …
Iain Thomson, 01 Jul 2014

Microsoft's anti-malware crusade knackers '4 MILLION' No-IP users

Microsoft has won a court order to gain control of 23 No-IP domains owned by dynamic DNS (DDNS) provider Vitalwerks Internet Solutions. The US software giant claimed the domains were being used by malware developed in the Middle East and Africa. Vitalwerks operates its No-IP DDNS service from Nevada, and there is no suggestion …
Iain Thomson, 01 Jul 2014
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Using Android 4.3? Don't let malware snatch your private login keys

If you're one of the 10.3 per cent of Android users running version 4.3, aka Jelly Bean, your login keys are at risk of theft – thanks to a vulnerability in the operating system's KeyStore software. KeyStore, as the name suggests, stores a user's cryptographic keys, which are used by apps to log into services without the user …
Iain Thomson, 30 Jun 2014
LG G Smartwatch running Android Wear

What's it like using the LG G smartwatch and Android Wear? Let us tell YOU

Wearable computing has been generating a lot of buzz ever since Pebble and others kickstarted the market last year and now the world's most popular smartphone OS builder has skin in the game and serious hardware partners. LG G Smartwatch running Android Wear LG G Smartwatch running Android Wear For months now the world + dog …
Iain Thomson, 28 Jun 2014
NSA parody T-shirt

Surprise! NSA's first ever 'transparency' 'report' is anything but

The US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has published the NSA's first "transparency report", revealing the number of "targets" spied on by the agency. Its definition of the word transparency, however, makes the data somewhat hard to fathom. "Within the Intelligence Community, the term 'target' has multiple …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jun 2014

MPAA, meet the Streisand effect: Picture ass. slaps Reddit with takedown

The Motion Picture Ass. of America has shot itself in the foot by issuing a copyright takedown notice against a corner of Reddit – and promptly turned a virtually unused subredit into a popular forum. The discussion board, /r/FullLengthFilms, is a place for Redditors to post links to films available for streaming or download, …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jun 2014
The US Cyber Command official seal

What is ex-NSA spyboss selling for $1m a month, asks US congressman

Representative Alan Grayson (D-FL) is pushing for a formal investigation into the activities of General Keith Alexander now that the former head of the NSA has started his own very expensive security consultancy. There is no evidence of any wrongdoing by Gen Alexander. Last week it was reported that Alexander, who retired from …
Iain Thomson, 26 Jun 2014
Google protest at Moscone Center

Occupy Google: Protesters attack ad giant as I/O gets underway

Google's I/O dev conference is traditionally a time when the company basks in the love of its community: but some other Bay Area residents have been making their displeasure with the Chocolate Factory known in a very vocal fashion. Occupy Google protestors "Give me a G..." A group working under the hashtag Occupy Google …

I/O NOOOOO!!! We sat through Google's bum numbing 3-hour keynote so you didn't have to

Google has kicked off its annual developer conference with a three-hour keynote in which the search kingpin explained where it's taking Android next: namely, your wrist, your car, your living room, and beyond. It was long enough to trouble your correspondent's laptop battery. Sundar Pichai, Google's head of Android division, …
Iain Thomson, 26 Jun 2014

Supercomputing speed growth hits 'historical low' in new TOP500 list

There be merriment in the Middle Kingdom: the Tianhe-2 supercomputer at China's National University of Defense Technology is the most powerful datacruncher on the planet (that we know about) for the third time in a row. The TOP500 list, published every six months, noted that the Chinese system hit 33.86 petaflops on the Linpack …
Iain Thomson, 25 Jun 2014

Google offers $150 gift card for Chromebook Pixel data shutoff

Google has chosen to issue gift cards to customers who spent $1,449 on a shiny Chromebook Pixel with free Verizon LTE data only to find that the telco decided to ditch the offer early. At launch, the Pixel was touted as coming with two years of free LTE data from Verizon. Admittedly you only got 100MB a month, but that's enough …
Iain Thomson, 24 Jun 2014

EXPOSED: Massive mobile malware network used by cops globally

A probe by Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto and computer security firm Kaspersky Lab has uncovered a massive network of mobile malware for all phone types that is sold by an Italian firm to police forces around the world. The malware, dubbed Remote Control System (RCS), was produced by a company called Hacking Team. It …
Iain Thomson, 24 Jun 2014
Curiosity looking good on first Martian birthday

One amazing reason why NASA boffins are celebrating Curiosity's 687th day on Mars

As Curiosity trundles across the plains of Mars, its controllers at NASA are preparing to hold a bit of a party – as on June 24 the rover celebrates its first full Martian year (687 Earth days) on the Red Planet. Curiosity looking good on first Martian birthday Curiosity is looking good on its first Martian birthday The rover …
Iain Thomson, 24 Jun 2014
Bus jam

MIT boffins build 36 core processor with data-traffic smarts

Researchers at MIT say they have successfully built a 36-core processor that uses an internal networking system to get maximum data throughput from all the processing cores. MIT's new multicore, multi-bus, chip MIT's new multicore, multi-bus chip The design, unveiled at the International Symposium on Computer Architecture, …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jun 2014
Reg man wears Google Glass

Google starts selling Glass to Brits – for £1,000 a pop

Google is opening up the sale of its Glass head-mounted computers to customers outside the US for the first time, and the UK is the first country to get them. "Beginning today, we're extending our open beta Explorer program to the UK. The world sees the UK as a center (actually, a centre) of innovation," said the Chocolate …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jun 2014
orbcomm

Engineering fault stops SpaceX launch of machine comms satellite network

Elon Musk might have a tight timetable to get humans to Mars, but his SpaceX booster company is behind schedule on its current launch calendar, thanks to an engineering glitch. With minutes to go before launch at Cape Canaveral, SpaceX's latest Falcon rocket was shut down after engineers spotted pressure fluctuations in the unit …
Iain Thomson, 21 Jun 2014

D-Wave disputes benchmark study showing sluggish quantum computer

Quantum computing device manufacturer D-Wave is disputing a recently published study that claims the Canadian firm's systems aren't reliably faster than more-conventional computing systems. On Thursday an international team of computer scientists published a widely previewed paper in Science detailing a series of benchmark tests …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jun 2014
Surface Pro kickstand

Microsoft hopes for FONDLESLAB FRENZY as Surface Pro 3 debuts

As expected, Microsoft has started sales of its latest iteration of its Surface Pro, hoping that it'll be third-time's a charm for Redmond's attempts to seduce fondleslab buyers into the joys of Windows 8. "I'm pretty pumped today, because Surface Pro 3 – the tablet that can replace your laptop – is now on sale at retail stores …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jun 2014

Google, Microsoft to add remote KILL switch to phones

Pressure from US lawmakers has convinced Microsoft and Google to add a kill switch to their smartphone operating systems in a move to deter the larcenous. The pressure came from "Secure our Smartphones" (SOS), an organization set up by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jun 2014

Hackers reverse-engineer NSA spy kit using off-the-shelf parts

Last year Edward Snowden leaked the NSA's Advanced Network Technology catalog, a listing of the hardware and software tools the agency makes available to agents for spying. Now enterprising security experts are using the catalog to build similar tools using available electronics. The team, led by Michael Ossmann of Great Scott …
Iain Thomson, 19 Jun 2014
John Legere

T-Mobile boss: 'High and mighty' Verizon and AT&T are 'raping you for every penny you have'

T-Mobile CEO John Legere is outspoken at the best of times, but went further than ever before in his criticism of the conduct of Verizon and AT&T in the US market at the company's latest Un-carrier initiative launch. "These high and mighty duopolists that are raping you for every penny you have," Legere said. "The fuckers hate …
Iain Thomson, 19 Jun 2014

Elon Musk: Just watch me – I'll put HUMAN BOOTS on Mars by 2026

Electrocar and rocket tycoon Elon Musk says he'll put the first human beings on Mars well before the 2020s are finished – and also promised to float his SpaceX firm on Earth stock exchanges once the interplanetary mission gets underway. "I'm hopeful that the first people could be taken to Mars in 10 to 12 years, I think it's …
Iain Thomson, 18 Jun 2014