Iain Thomson

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launch

SpaceX wows world with a ho-hum launch of a reused rocket, landing it on a tiny boring barge

Pics Elon Musk's promised revolution in affordable orbital delivery has begun: today his upstart SpaceX successfully launched a refurbished rocket from Earth, carrying a commercial satellite into orbit, and then landed the rocket's first stage on a sea barge. For any miserabilists hoping for drama, failure, and explosions, no such …
Iain Thomson, 30 Mar 2017
constitution

Minnesota, Illinois rebel over America's ISP privacy massacre, mull fresh info protections

President Trump has yet to sign off on congressional legislation that allows American ISPs to sell their subscribers' online habits to advertisers – but US states aren't waiting for his signature and are moving to protect their constituents' privacy. On Tuesday, the Minnesota House of Representatives introduced legislation to …
Iain Thomson, 30 Mar 2017
Ron Wyden

Hey FCC, when you're not busy screwing our privacy, how about those SS7 cell network security flaws, huh?

US Democrats have written to America's communications watchdog the FCC complaining the mobile industry needs a kick up the backside to fix serious flaws in its networks. Last week the FCC's Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) published its final report [PDF] into the Signaling System 7 …
Iain Thomson, 30 Mar 2017
handcuffs

Silicon Valley staffing agency boss charged with H‑1B visa fraud

Jayavel Murugan, CEO of staffing agency Dynasoft Synergy, is accused of faking letters from Silicon Valley bosses so he could ship cheap foreign workers into America. Murugan, 46, and his associate Syed Nawaz, 40, are formally charged [PDF] with 26 counts of visa fraud, conspiracy to commit visa fraud, use of false documents, …
Iain Thomson, 30 Mar 2017

Alabama joins anti-web-smut crusade with mandatory opt-out filters

Yet another American state has seen legislation introduced to include mandatory anti-pornography filters on any internet-capable device – or else. Alabama state rep Jack Williams (R-Montgomery) has proposed House Bill 428 that is virtually identical to red-tape put forward in North Dakota and South Carolina. If enacted, from …
Iain Thomson, 29 Mar 2017
Elon Musk

Racist Tesla staff drilled my buttocks, claims employee in lawsuit

Tesla is facing a lawsuit from an employee at its car factory who is making lurid claims about racial discrimination in the workplace. DeWitt Lambert, 44, was working at Tesla's Fremont, California, factory where he claims [PDF] racial abuse was commonplace and management did nothing to stop it after his complaints. He says …
Iain Thomson, 28 Mar 2017
web snoop

So my ISP can now sell my browsing history – what can I do?

So, the US House of Representatives has voted away internet privacy (in concert with the Senate), and the legislation will be heading to the White House for Trump's imprimatur. He's expected to sign quickly, so as internet users it's time to get really serious about privacy. Under the terms of the legislation, your ISP would …
Iain Thomson, 28 Mar 2017
search

FYI Docs.com users: You may have leaked passwords, personal info – thousands have

Thousands of netizens inadvertently shared passwords and other highly private information with the rest of the planet – via Microsoft's publicly searchable Docs.com service. Docs.com allows people to exchange documents between friends and colleagues, and the wider world, and can be searched for keywords. It sounds like a neat …
Iain Thomson, 27 Mar 2017
psycho

LastPass scrambles to fix another major flaw – once again spotted by Google's bugfinders

For most of us, Saturday morning is a time for a lie in, a leisurely brunch, or maybe taking the kids to the park. But for some it's bug-hunting time. Tavis Ormandy, a member of Google's crack Project Zero security team, was in the shower and thinking about LastPass – after finding a number of flaws in the password manager …
Iain Thomson, 27 Mar 2017
drone

Bloke whose drone was blasted out of sky by angry dad loses another court battle for compo

An appeals court has snubbed a drone owner's demand for $1,500 compensation from a furious dad who blew the flying gizmo out of the sky when it hovered over his family. In July 2015, William Merideth, 47, was at home in Hillview, Kentucky, America, when his daughter came in from sunbathing in the garden to say there was a …
Iain Thomson, 25 Mar 2017
Visa

Ever visited a land now under Islamic State rule? And you want to see America? Hand over that Facebook, Twitter, pal

US embassies have been told to examine social media accounts of visa applicants who have ever set foot in Islamic-State-controlled areas. The edict was sent out earlier this month by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in diplomatic cables. These memos, leaked to journalists and revealed on Friday, direct officials to identify " …
Iain Thomson, 25 Mar 2017
Bezos

Amazon dodges $1.5bn US tax bill: It's OK to run sales through Europe out of IRS reach – court

Champagne corks will be popping in Seattle after US taxmen lost their case against American web giant Amazon over the non-payment of taxes on overseas earnings. On Thursday, the US Tax Court ruled [PDF] in favor of Amazon, saying it was legal for the internet souk to channel its European sales through a low-tax Luxembourg …
Iain Thomson, 24 Mar 2017
SpaceX robot

Spotted: Bizarre SpaceX rocket-snatching machine that looks like it belongs on Robot Wars

Pic A robot has been spotted on the landing pad of SpaceX's floating barge Of course I still love you, and the rocket biz is refusing to say what it is for. Coming soon from SpaceX! Click to enlarge (Source: Stephen Marr, used with permission) This photo of the machine was taken by a couple flying over the Florida port where …
Iain Thomson, 23 Mar 2017
Riot police

If you were cuffed during Trump's inauguration, cops are trying to crack your smartphone

Vid The inauguration of President Donald Trump in the US capital was marked by protests, with cops collaring more than 200 people on the day. Now court documents reveal the US government's efforts to crack the arrestees' locked phones and slurp their contents. The filings [PDF] – submitted to the Washington DC Superior Court – …
Iain Thomson, 23 Mar 2017
frustration

Microsoft loves Linux so much, its OneDrive web app runs like a dog on Windows OS rivals

Ever since Satya Nadella took over the reins at Microsoft, the Windows giant has been talking up how much it loves Linux – but it appears this hasn't trickled down to its OneDrive team. Plenty of Linux users are up in arms about the performance of the OneDrive web app. They say that when accessing Microsoft's cloudy storage …
Iain Thomson, 23 Mar 2017
strike

Strike that: 17,000 AT&T workers down tools in California, Nevada

More than 17,000 workers for AT&T belonging to the Communications Workers of America downed tools and went on strike in California and Nevada on Wednesday after restructuring talks broke down. The dispute centers on AT&T's plans to make engineers servicing the US giant's U-Verse TV service also do repairs and maintenance on …
Iain Thomson, 22 Mar 2017
handcuffs

Russian mastermind of $500m bank-raiding Citadel coughs to crimes

The Russian programmer who built the bank-acount-raiding Citadel Trojan has admitted his crimes. Mark Vartanyan, who operated under the handle "Kolypto", was arrested in Norway last year, and extradited to America in December. The 29-year-old was charged with one count of computer fraud. On Monday, he pleaded guilty [PDF] to a …
Iain Thomson, 22 Mar 2017
Hacker

Web smut seekers take resurgent Ramnit malware from behind

Aficionados of salacious smut sites in the UK and Canada are picking up some nasty software that infects systems by using corrupted pop-under adverts. Security researchers at Malwarebytes Labs running a malware honeypot have started noticing resurgence in the Ramnit trojan among the samples. Ramnit was a particularly …
Iain Thomson, 22 Mar 2017
safecracker

What should password managers not do? Leak your passwords? What a great idea, LastPass

Updated Password vault LastPass is scrambling to patch critical security flaws that malicious websites can exploit to steal millions of victims' passphrases. The programming cockups were spotted by Tavis Ormandy, a white-hat hacker on Google's crack Project Zero security team. He found that the LastPass Chrome extension has an …
Iain Thomson, 21 Mar 2017
Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 includes a host of new features

Microsoft cloud TITSUP: Skype, Outlook, Xbox, OneDrive, Hotmail down

Updated Microsoft cloud services have dived offline, taking down Outlook, Hotmail, OneDrive, Skype, and Xbox Live. The problems appear to have started on Tuesday morning Pacific Time, although systems could have started to wobble earlier: basically, people were and still are unable to log into their Microsoft-hosted services. Outlook …
Iain Thomson, 21 Mar 2017
burglar

Nest cameras can be easily blacked out by Bluetooth burglars

Updated Nest's Dropcam and Dropcam Pro security cameras can be wirelessly attacked via Bluetooth to crash and stop recording footage. This is perfect for burglars and other crooks who want to knock out the cams moments before robbing a joint. The three vulnerabilities are in camera firmware version 5.2.1, and no patch is publicly …
Iain Thomson, 21 Mar 2017
dragon

Murder in space: NASA orders astronauts to KILL cripples – then fire bodies back to Earth

After almost a month spent attached to the International Space Station, SpaceX's Dragon capsule has successfully returned to Earth. The podule, laden with science experiments including the bodies of 40 mice, is now on its way to NASA via ship. The capsule, which made a belated berthing with the ISS on February 23 thanks to a …
Iain Thomson, 21 Mar 2017
Hearing

FBI, NSA top brass: We've seen jack squat to back up Trump's claims of Obama wiretaps

Vid Monday mornings are never pleasant, are they? Take FBI director James Comey and head of the NSA Admiral Mike Rogers, for example, who kicked off their week by being grilled by the US House Select Intelligence Committee. The meeting was scheduled to give Congress an update on claims of Russian meddling in the presidential …
Iain Thomson, 20 Mar 2017
Secret Service

Friday security roundup: Secret Service laptop bungle, hackers win prizes, websites leak

Updated Friday is usually a good day to bury bad news and there are a number of stories bubbling under before we all head out for the weekend. US Secret Service lost a laptop The US Secret Service has admitted that one of its agents' cars had been broken into by persons unknown, and a laptop was stolen, along with other items. The …
Iain Thomson, 18 Mar 2017

Bloke cuffed after 'You deserve a seizure' GIF tweet gave epileptic a fit

A man suspected of maliciously tweeting a GIF to a magazine writer that induced an epileptic attack has been collared by the FBI. In December, Kurt Eichenwald, a Newsweek journalist who has written about living with epilepsy, appeared on the US Fox News show Tucker Carlson Tonight to discuss his claims that the then-President- …
Iain Thomson, 17 Mar 2017

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