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Iain Thomson

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Dreadnoughtus schrani

DREADNOUGHTUS: The 65-TON DINO that could crumple up a T-Rex like a paper cup

Paleontologists report that they have discovered the remains of a new type of dinosaur - dubbed Dreadnoughtus schrani - that tipped the scales at 65 tons, was 85 feet long ... and was still growing fast when it died. Dreadnoughtus schrani Dreadnoughtus schrani - our weightiest dinosaur to date Kenneth Lacovara, associate …
Iain Thomson, 04 Sep 2014
Steve Jobs, credit Apple site, screengrab

Silicon Valley tech titans beg for more mediation time in wage-fix lawsuit

Some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley have filed a court motion asking for more time in mediation before going to court to fight former employees who claim they were put on secret no-hire blacklists by their bosses. The class action suit claims that from 2005 the bosses of Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm, …
Iain Thomson, 04 Sep 2014

Verizon hit with $7.4 MEEELLION fine for slurping users' privates

Verizon has agreed to pay the US Treasury $7.4m to settle an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission into its failure to tell customers that it was using their personal information for marketing purposes. "In today's increasingly connected world, it is critical that every phone company honor its duty to inform …
Iain Thomson, 03 Sep 2014
Made in Space 3D printer

NASA clears zero-G 3D printer for mission to SPAAAAACE

A special 3D printer designed to work in zero-gravity conditions has received flight certification from NASA and will shortly be sent up to the International Space Station for astronauts to try out. The space stations forthcoming 3D printer Astronauts will soon be able to build their own plastic gewgaws The snappily named 3-D …
Iain Thomson, 03 Sep 2014
Hacker baseball cap

Claimed Home Depot credit card hack could be biggest retail breach yet

One of the US's largest home improvement chains is investigating whether its systems have been cracked by hackers, as one security researcher has claimed. "I can confirm that we’re looking into some unusual activity and we are working with our banking partners and law enforcement to investigate," the company told El Reg in a …
Iain Thomson, 02 Sep 2014
Google UK office logos

'Enterprise' ends ten-year mission: Choc Factory's biz services now Google for Work

Google has celebrated ten years of selling services to businesses by dumping the name Google Enterprise in favor of the touchier, feelier Google for Work. "We never set out to create a traditional 'enterprise' business – we wanted to create a new way of doing work," said Google chairman Eric Schmidt in a blog post. "So the …
Iain Thomson, 02 Sep 2014
Artist's image of asteroids and Mars

NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away

IT administrators at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory are preparing to perform an interplanetary remote wipe and reboot on its Martian Opportunity rover after the decade-old explorer began to get a bit senile. The latest view from Mars sent by Opportunity The latest view from Mars sent by Opportunity Opportunity's computer …
Iain Thomson, 30 Aug 2014
Eugene Kaspersky in Sydney

Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather

Russian security software vendor Kaspersky has yanked an article from its website arguing that netizens shouldn't fear state surveillance unless they had done something wrong in the first place. "Remember if you’re doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide," the cached version of the unsigned article states. "There is …
Iain Thomson, 29 Aug 2014
Intel Core i7-5960X

Intel unleashed octo-core speed demon for the power-crazed crowd

Intel has released its first eight-core desktop chip, the Intel Core i7-5960X processor Extreme Edition, formerly known as Haswell-E, along with two other slightly slower chips. Intel Core i7-5960X Chipzilla's latest speed demon "We're thrilled to unveil the next phase in our 'reinvention of the desktop' we outlined earlier …
Iain Thomson, 29 Aug 2014
Winnie-the-Pooh honey

Feds salute plucky human ROBOT-FIGHTERS

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced over US$12,000 in prizes in its “Zapping Rachel” robocall contest, which was held at this year's DEFCON hacking conference in Las Vegas. The FTC has been on something of a crusade against the curse of the robocall, both because they are illegal and also because it …
Iain Thomson, 29 Aug 2014
IT Crowd. Source: Channel 4 / 2entertain

Gamma's not a goner! UK ISP sorts out major outage

British ISP Gamma Partners is blaming BT for a 13-hour break in its data and communications services but says the problem has now been fixed. We have now restored service to all our users. Root cause investigations continue and a further update will be issued tomorrrow — Gamma Support (@GammaSvcSupport) August 28, 2014 The …
Iain Thomson, 29 Aug 2014

Want to buy T-Mobile US? Yours for $35 per share – report

The parent company of US mobile telco bad boy T-Mobile has reportedly decided it will sell the firm, after two failed bids, and has set its price at $35 per share. According to a person with knowledge of the matter, senior managers at the German firm met for a strategy meeting in Berlin on Thursday to discuss the recently failed …
Iain Thomson, 28 Aug 2014
Suspected thigh bone on Mars spotted by Curiosity

Rickety rock deemed unworthy of Curiosity's drill

NASA's plans to conduct its fourth major drilling project have been called off after the proposed target, dubbed Bonanza King, proved unstable. Bonanza King on Mars Site proves a bit too shaky for scanning Last week the rover found the drilling site after detouring through the northeastern end of “Hidden Valley,” on its way …
Iain Thomson, 28 Aug 2014
big droplets falling from rain cloud

Dropbox cuts cloud storage prices $10 per terabyte, matching Google and Microsoft

Dropbox has become the latest company to slash its cloud storage costs as the price war in the sector heats up, leaving consumers to reap the cost benefits. "We don’t want you to worry about choosing the right plan or having enough space," the company wrote in a blog post. "So today, we’re simplifying Dropbox Pro to a single …
Iain Thomson, 27 Aug 2014
Windows XP BSOD

Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch

Microsoft has reissued a security patch for Windows that previously caused PCs to suffer blue screens of death. The new release comes 10 days after Redmond advised people to uninstall the dodgy update. "This month we had our first roll out with additional non-security updates. A small number of customers experienced problems …
Iain Thomson, 27 Aug 2014

Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case

A top government cybersecurity official who secretly joined an online pedophile network to swap child sex abuse material and rape fantasies has been convicted. Timothy DeFoggi, 56, is described by the US Department of Justice as being the former acting director of cyber security at Uncle Sam's Department of Health and Human …
Iain Thomson, 27 Aug 2014
flames_fire_destruction

Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables

HP has recalled more than six million power leads after the US Consumer Product Safety Commission warned the kit was starting fires. HP AC power cord recall Melty cords a danger to HP users "HP has received 29 reports of power cords overheating and melting or charring resulting in two claims of minor burns and 13 claims of …
Iain Thomson, 26 Aug 2014
Star Trek Into Darkness

Next blockbuster you watch could be rendered on Google: Star Trek fx biz Zync gobbled

Google has confirmed its gobble of Zync, a cloud-based special effects rendering service. "Creating amazing special effects requires a skilled team of visual artists and designers, backed by a highly powerful infrastructure to render scenes. Many studios, however, don’t have the resources or desire to create an in-house …
Iain Thomson, 26 Aug 2014
Panic button on keyboard

Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious

California's governor Jerry Brown has signed off on a bill that requires any manufacturer selling smartphones in the Golden State to install a kill switch capable of bricking the handset. Bill SB 962 has been signed into law, mandating all smartphones sold in California to have software in place to brick stolen handsets. The law …
Iain Thomson, 26 Aug 2014
HP

Judge nixes HP deal for director amnesty after $8.8bn Autonomy snafu

HP's plan to defend its directors in the Autonomy scandal – and present a united front against the Brit business's former execs and their auditors – has been thrown into doubt by a US judge. Last month HP announced a settlement with lawyers representing its own shareholders, who had brought legal action against HP: the …
Iain Thomson, 25 Aug 2014
Photo of a stack of $100 bills

Amazon Twitch snatch catches Google the gobbler off guard

Amazon has confirmed its purchase of Twitch, the pose-streaming startup beloved of gamers, in a $970m deal which appears to confirm that video gaming is a spectator sport as well as a participatory one. "Today, I'm pleased to announce we've been acquired by Amazon. We chose Amazon because they believe in our community, they …
Iain Thomson, 25 Aug 2014
Killzone: Shadow Fall

Sony's 'Lizard Squad' battered PlayStation Network staggers to feet

Sony says it has beaten off the latest attack against its PlayStation Network – this time by the hacktivist group that calls itself the lizard Squad" – and insists all of the user information it stores is safe. "The networks were taken offline due to a distributed denial of service attack. We have seen no evidence of any …
Iain Thomson, 25 Aug 2014
OLPC XO3 tablet solar cover small

Google gobbles Fitbit whiz Gecko Design to strengthen those things that don't shift ads

Google has bought up Gecko Design, the industrial design house behind products like the One Laptop Per Child PC and Fitbit. "This is an incredible opportunity for everyone at Gecko," Jacques Gagne, Gecko's president and founder, gushed on the company website. "We are very excited and honored to join Google(x) and work on a …
Iain Thomson, 23 Aug 2014
Galileo

Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico

Relevant Youtube video is relevant The European Space Agency has launched the fifth and sixth Galileo satellites from its launch pad in French Guiana. The boffins are now increasing the frequency of launches to get the entire network of 30 orbital birds ready by 2017 – three years early. The latest sats were launched on Friday …
Iain Thomson, 22 Aug 2014
Google car

Pedals and wheel in that Google robo-car or it's off the road – Cali DMV

Google's driverless car that eschews a steering wheel and pedals has hit a legal road bump in California. The state's Department of Motor Vehicles has issued new regulations, due to kick in on September 16, that insist all robot cars come equipped with a steering wheel and pedals in case the vehicle's computer literally crashes …
Iain Thomson, 22 Aug 2014
diaspora

ISIS terror fanatics invade Diaspora after Twitter blockade

Medieval terror bastards ISIS have moved from Twitter to non-profit social networking outfit Diaspora to spew their cant – and apparently nothing can be done to stop them. "Diaspora is a completely decentralized network which, by its nature, consists of many small servers exchanging posts and messages," the organizers of the …
Iain Thomson, 22 Aug 2014
Photo of the White House at dusk

Obama's healthcare.gov savior says: 'No suits please, we're techies'

The incoming head of the newly formed US Digital Service – a crack sysadmin force to fix government IT systems – has said his team are focused less on looking smart and more on serious coding. Youtube Video Mikey Dickerson was brought in by the White House to sort out the lamentable launch of the Affordable Care Act's …
Iain Thomson, 21 Aug 2014
comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

What a pain in the mass! Euro craft Rosetta to poke its probe in 10-BILLION-tonne comet

The European Space Agency's Rosetta probe has made the first measurement of the mass of the comet it's chasing – and has come up with a mass of 10 billion tonnes, plus or minus 10 per cent. comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Does my mass look big in this? Rosetta has spent the past ten years, and six billion kilometres, getting …
Iain Thomson, 21 Aug 2014
Android

Slapdash SSL code puts tons of top Android Play Store apps in hack peril

Sloppy programming, poor patching, and unreliable trust engines are rife within Android apps, according to a new study. In short, millions smartphone users are potentially wide open to man-in-the-middle attacks, it's claimed. Researchers at security firm FireEye went through the 1,000 most popular Android applications from the …
Iain Thomson, 21 Aug 2014
traffic light hacking

Need a green traffic light all the way home? Easy with insecure street signals, say researchers

Criminals monkeying with traffic lights are a staple of cinema: the 1969 Italian Job and Luc Besson's Taxi are particularly fine examples. Now researchers have demonstrated that fact is much less glamorous – and simpler – than fiction. Youtube clip from the Italian Job In a paper [PDF] delivered to the USENIX Security 2014 …
Iain Thomson, 20 Aug 2014
Cyborg moth

Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue

Scientists at North Carolina State University in the US have implanted electrodes in a developing moth to closely observe and remotely control the creature's flight. Cyborg moth Cyborg moth takes to the wing In a paper published in the Journal of Visualized Experiments, the lead author Dr Alper Bozkurt, an assistant professor …
Iain Thomson, 20 Aug 2014
Azhdarchid pterosaurs

Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies

A new study by Russian paleontologists has revealed the dominance of a species of huge flying lizards that once flew over Earth's skies. Azhdarchid pterosaurs Azhdarchid pterosaurs ... creatures the size of small aircraft encircled the globe The creatures, named Azhdarchid pterosaurs after the Persian word Aždarha meaning …
Iain Thomson, 20 Aug 2014

Rubber Ub' hub: Uber test-drives condoms, gift card, soap etc deliveries

Taxi app Uber is running drugstore deliveries to customers in the Washington DC area as part of a test to see if it can become more than an amateur cabbie collective. Uber's in-development Corner Store can be accessed from a tab in the Uber app, and allows people to order their toiletries from an Uber driver. The inventory list …
Iain Thomson, 19 Aug 2014
HTC One M8

Microsoft and HTC are M8s again: New One mobe sports WinPhone

HTC has launched an M8 phone running Microsoft's latest Windows Phone OS – but only in the US and only for the Verizon network. "Consumers love the HTC One (M8) and today's introduction extends that enthusiasm to new audiences hungry for choice in their mobile experience," said Jason Mackenzie, President of HTC Americas in a …
Iain Thomson, 19 Aug 2014
Three  UK Passports

e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt

Brit taxpayers face a £224m bill in cancellation fees after the UK government scrapped a £750m contract for a passenger-checking computer system at its borders. The contract for the e-Borders IT project, which is supposed to scrutinize the identities of people entering the country, was signed in 2007, back when the Labour Party …
Iain Thomson, 19 Aug 2014
Aphex Twin

Tor-rorists get sneaky Aphex Twin album peek in dance guru hypegasm

Richard James, aka electronic music composer Aphex Twin, has been using the power of Tor to hype his new album – and to remind computer users about their own system's security. http://syro2eznzea2xbpi.onion — Aphex Twin (@AphexTwin) August 18, 2014 The .onion link above leads to a web server hidden in the Tor anonymizing …
Iain Thomson, 18 Aug 2014
medical_doctor_health_channel

'Chinese crims' snatch 4.5 MILLION patient files from US hospitals

One of the largest healthcare providers in the US claims Chinese hackers ran riot through its systems between April and June this year – accessing names, addresses and social security numbers of millions of patients. But Community Health Systems (CHS) insists no medical records nor any financial data were grabbed by the …
Iain Thomson, 18 Aug 2014

Time to ditch HTTP – govt malware injection kit thrust into spotlight

A new report form the Toronto-based internet watchdog Citizen Lab has shown cases of governments running network injection attacks that can deliver malware via any HTTP web connection. The dossier looks at two hacking tools created by the Italian firm Hacking Team and the German biz FinFisher that use the injection attack vector …
Iain Thomson, 16 Aug 2014

Supervalu supermarket stores stung by sneaky sales system scammers

Supervalu, one of the biggest supermarket chains in the US, is warning customers who shopped with them between June 22 and July 17 to check their bank statements, after investigators discovered hackers have been at work. "The safety of our customers' personal information is a top priority for us," said CEO Sam Duncan. "The …
Iain Thomson, 15 Aug 2014

Apple slings fanbois' data at Chinese servers in China Telecom deal

In an effort to woo buyers in China, Apple has inked a deal to store Chinese customer data in Chinese servers for the first time. Plenty of technology firms are leery about storing sensitive information in China (although given the NSA's reach, US servers aren't exactly private) but Apple has hired China Telecom to use the telco …
Iain Thomson, 15 Aug 2014

Seven Apple Store staff cuffed in alleged $500k stolen iPhone scam bust

Seven Apple store employees, and a worker at Best Buy, have been arrested and charged in Florida for allegedly selling stolen iPhones. The seven Cook & Co staffers worked at the Apple Store in Fort Lauderdale, and are accused of working with phone thieves to exchange 600 stolen mobes for legitimate handsets. Police estimate the …
Iain Thomson, 15 Aug 2014
Sad Anonymous

Know what Ferguson city needs right now? It's not Anonymous doxing random people

Anonymous has called off efforts to name and shame the cop who shot unarmed teen Michael Brown dead in Ferguson, Missouri – after the hacktivists identified a bloke whom the police say has never worked as a beat officer. On Thursday the group released the name and pictures from Facebook of a man they accused of shooting 18-year- …
Iain Thomson, 15 Aug 2014
kilobot

What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this

Harvard University computer scientists have built a 1,000-strong robot army that can form itself into shapes with little human input. KIlobots And I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords (click to enlarge) The machines, dubbed kilobots because there are 1,024 of them, each contain an Atmel micrcontroller, two …
Iain Thomson, 14 Aug 2014
Asteroid DA 1950

Spin doctors crack 'impossible' asteroid hurtling towards Earth

Scientists studying a mysterious asteroid that could hit Earth in the 29th century think they've found the reason why the fast-spinning object hasn't blown itself apart. The asteroid, 1950 DA, is over a kilometer (0.62 miles) across and rotates completely every 2.1 hours, a speed once thought impossible since the forces involved …
Iain Thomson, 14 Aug 2014

Click on a Facebook ad on your mobe, then buy a thing on your PC ... Facebook remembers

Advertisers on global ad network Facebook can now pinpoint exactly which devices and computers people use to buy stuff through online ads. "Facebook already offers targeting, delivery and conversion measurement across devices. With the new cross-device report, advertisers are now able to view the devices on which people see ads …
Iain Thomson, 13 Aug 2014
Edward Snowden

Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar

Rogue NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden says his former employer has developed software that will automatically attack foreign computers deemed to be a threat – without checking in with a human first. The system, dubbed MonsterMind, is designed to detect strikes against key US servers and block the assaults as quickly as possible. But …
Iain Thomson, 13 Aug 2014
Dell logo

Dell slaps Intel Haswell brawn in monster Precision workstations

Dell has updated its line of tower and rack workstations with the latest Intel x86-64 chips and promises they will be on sale next month. Powering Dell's new offerings are "Haswell" Xeon E5 v3 processors, which aren’t on general release as yet, and the Precision models will also carry DDR4 memory capable of speeds up to 2,133MHz …
Iain Thomson, 13 Aug 2014
Taxi Driver

Uber and Lyft sitting in a tree, 'c-a-n-c-e-l-l-i-n-g each other's rides'

Uber has blasted rival taxi app firm Lyft over claims that Uber staff had deliberately ordered Lyft rides and then cancelled them. Lyft told CNN that it had logged 5,560 requests for rides from staff of Uber since October 3, 2013, and that there were numerous cases of people ordering short Lyft rides and spending the time trying …
Iain Thomson, 13 Aug 2014
USB

No more turning over a USB thing, then turning it over again to plug it in: Reversible socket ready for lift off

Computer users have moved one step closer to saving a few seconds twiddling with their USB cables now that the port's reversible Type C connector specification has been cleared for volume production. The Type C connector, first unveiled in April, is fully reversible and considerably slimmer than the USB plug we've been used to …
Iain Thomson, 12 Aug 2014

US 911 service needs emergency upgrade and some basic security against scumbags

The US emergency response system is in urgent need of better security as it’s surprisingly easy to disable or spoof 911 calls. In a talk at Defcon 22 two doctors (who are also hackers) and a security consultant presented research into the emergency response system and how calls via fixed line, mobile phones and VoIP are routed. …
Iain Thomson, 11 Aug 2014