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Iain Thomson

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FCC might kill off net neutrality with new pay-for-speed rules – report

US Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler appears to have had a major change of heart when it comes to net neutrality, according to The Wall Street Journal. The paper reports that the FCC will propose new rules on net neutrality that would allow companies to pay for faster access to their websites and services, …
Iain Thomson, 24 Apr 2014
MDM

Space station astronauts pop outside to replace crippled computer

Two astronauts aboard the International Space Station have taken a wander over the outside of the station to replace a critical backup computer that conked out. MDM NASA doesn't do beige boxes, it prefers grey Flight engineers Rick Mastracchio and Steve Swanson swapped out the multiplexer/demultiplexer (MDM) control box in a …
Iain Thomson, 23 Apr 2014
The Street View spycar spied in Inverness

Google adds a sense of history to Street View with archive footage

Google is adding historical images to its Street View image library so that users can step backwards and forwards through time and track development from when the Chocolate Factory cameras cars last rolled by. "If you’ve ever dreamt of being a time traveler like Doc Brown, now’s your chance," wrote Vinay Shet, Google Street View …
Iain Thomson, 23 Apr 2014
Spam

AOL Mail locks down email servers to deal with spam tsunami

If you've been getting a lot of spam from AOL emails recently it's not because you've fallen into a time rift and it's the nineties all over again – the company has confirmed that it has been under an intensive spoofing attack. The problems started three days ago when large volumes of email, apparently from AOL Mail's servers, …
Iain Thomson, 23 Apr 2014
Russia

Boss of Russia's Facebook says Putin cronies have taken over his company

Pavel Durov, the founder of Russia's most popular social network, is complaining that he has been thrown out of his company on a technicality and claims that the firm has been taken over by pro-Putin oligarchs. Durov, who set up the social network VK (also known as VKontakte – ВКонтакте) in 2006, handed in his resignation last …
Iain Thomson, 22 Apr 2014
Artist's conception of a watery asteroid being torn apart white dwarf GD 61

Asteroids as powerful as NUCLEAR BOMBS strike Earth TWICE YEARLY

A study using data from monitoring stations designed to enforce a nuclear test ban treaty shows that the Earth is enduring far more dangerous asteroid impacts than previously thought. Between 2000 and 2013, the Earth was hit by 26 asteroids that exploded with a force of between one and 600 kilotons – an average of one every …
Iain Thomson, 22 Apr 2014
Github octodex

Github cofounder resigns after clearance in sex-harass probe

Tom Preston-Werner, the cofounder and former CEO of Github, has left the company being cleared by a third-party investigation into claims of sexual harassment at the coding startup. "The investigation found no evidence to support the claims against Tom and his wife of sexual or gender-based harassment or retaliation, or of a …
Iain Thomson, 21 Apr 2014

CEO Tim Cook sweeps Apple's inconvenient truths under a solar panel

Apple is making a big deal about its green credentials, including a slick advert voiced by CEO Tim Cook, ahead of the annual eco-friendly love-in Earth Day. On Monday Apple released the advert, dubbed "Better", in which Cook expounds on how Apple is doing its best to make the world's environment a better place by using 100 per …
Iain Thomson, 21 Apr 2014
ISS captures the Dragon

Dragon capsule arrives at space station for Easter Sunday delivery

Easter Sunday may have been all about eggs and chocolate bunnies for many, but the crew of the International Space Stations spent the day acting as specialist stevedores as SpaceX's Dragon capsule was successfully attached using the station's robotic arm. "Dragon attachment to the International Space Station is confirmed! …
Iain Thomson, 21 Apr 2014
LADEE

R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph

NASA has confirmed that the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft, which has spent the last 100 days orbiting the Moon, has shuffled off its mortal coil in a spectacular swan dive into the lunar regolith between 9:30pm and 10:22pm PDT on Thursday. LADEE LADEE, the little probe that could "At the …
Iain Thomson, 18 Apr 2014
SpaceX launches CRS-3

Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS

Elon Musk should be a happy camper, as it appears that his orbital delivery firm SpaceX has pulled off a successful launch of its third resupply mission to the International Space Station. SpaceX launches CRS-3 SpaceX shoots off the launch pad right on time The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral on schedule at 12: …
Iain Thomson, 18 Apr 2014
Marissa Meyer

Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing

It has been 18 months since former Google golden girl Marissa Mayer took over the helm at Yahoo! and outwardly things look pretty good, but the latest financial analysis shows the Purple Palace might actually be worth less than zero. Since taking over control of the once-great internet portal, Mayer has worked hard to revamp the …
Iain Thomson, 18 Apr 2014
Opportunity in clean room

Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning

The winds on Mars have been scouring the surface of the Opportunity rover, and NASA says the plucky little robot is now cleaner than it has been in nearly a decade. Opportunity selfie What a difference a few months of wind makes (click to enlarge) Back in January, Opportunity took a selfie using its panoramic camera, …
Iain Thomson, 18 Apr 2014

NASA finds first Earth-sized planet in a habitable zone around star

NASA's Kepler space telescope has spotted the first Earth-sized planet in orbit around a star in the so-called Goldilocks zone – the zone around a star that's not too hot or too cold for liquid water to exist on the surface. "We know of just one planet where life exists – Earth," said Elisa Quintana, research scientist at the …
Iain Thomson, 17 Apr 2014

New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates

Facebook is adding a new application that alerts smartphone users when their chums are nearby, but thankfully the feature is optional. Nearby friends Want to get closer to your friends? "If you turn on Nearby Friends, you'll occasionally be notified when friends are nearby, so you can get in touch with them and meet up," the …
Iain Thomson, 17 Apr 2014
management regulation1

Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers

Ladar Levison, owner of the now-defunct Lavabit email service, could be facing a heavy fine after an appeals court ruled that he failed to properly contest the government's attempts to install taps on his servers. Lavabit was the secure email service picked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden as the repository of his personal …
Iain Thomson, 17 Apr 2014
USB Stress Panic Button

US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code

US mobile companies have finally agreed to install free anti-theft software on their products, but not until the middle of next year and they plan to leave it turned it off by default. The CTIA, which dubs itself "the Wireless Association," announced that its members – including Apple, Samsung, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile US, …
Iain Thomson, 16 Apr 2014
Twitter for Mac New

Wall St's DROOLING as Twitter GULPS DOWN analytics firm Gnip

Twitter has bought its long-time collaborator Gnip, a analytics firm that should help the social media firm turn its red balance sheets black. Gnip specializes in taking social media feeds and studying them to extract financially useful information. It's one of four companies with access to Twitter's firehose of feeds, and also …
Iain Thomson, 16 Apr 2014
sponge

KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline

The nearest most of us get to a sponge is when it's sitting on the bathroom shelf, but scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have found four new species of carnivorous sponge that are chomping their way through undersea life off the coast of California. Most sponges filter particles of food from …
Iain Thomson, 16 Apr 2014
Nadella

Microsoft's Nadella: SQL Server 2014 means we're all about data

Microsoft's new CEO Satya Nadella made his third trip in as many weeks to San Francisco to announce the third piece in the puzzle that's Microsoft's future strategy: it's all going to be about data, he said. Nadella It's all about the data "The era of ambient intelligence has begun, and we are delivering a platform that …
Iain Thomson, 15 Apr 2014
Blood Moon

Skygazers prepare for 'blood Moon' caused by Earth eclipse

North American night owls will be in prime position to catch their best view of a lunar eclipse at around 1am EDT Tuesday as our natural satellite is overshadowed by Earth. The Earth's shadow will start to cover the Moon's surface at 12:54am EDT and the cover the lunar surface completely between 3:07am and 4:25am, causing a …
Iain Thomson, 15 Apr 2014
The Falcon 9 at Cape Canaveral

Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run

Elon Musk's rocketeers at SpaceX have called off Monday's launch of their CRS-3 resupply mission to the International Space Station after a problem with its main Falcon rocket. "Today's launch has been scrubbed due to a Helium leak on Falcon 9's first stage. A fix will be implemented by the next launch opportunity on Friday …
Iain Thomson, 14 Apr 2014
Mozilla's new CEO Chris Beard

Firefox biz Mozilla makes Beard new interim chief executive

Mozilla has appointed ex-long-time employee Chris Beard to head the collective as interim CEO after the old boss Brendan Eich was forced out for donating to a group opposing gay marriage. Mozilla's new CEO Chris Beard Beard is likely to keep his views on gay marriage to himself "Mozilla needs to act quickly and decisively," …
Iain Thomson, 14 Apr 2014

Feds indict nine for making millions from Zeus malware

The FBI and the US Department of Justice have unsealed charges against nine people accused of racketeering, computer fraud, aggravated identity theft, and multiple counts of bank fraud related to their use of the Zeus malware against victims in the state of Nebraska. "The 'Zeus' malware is one of the most damaging pieces of …
Iain Thomson, 14 Apr 2014
Robonaut shakes hands with with his human counterpart. Pic: NASA

ROBONAUT to find feet after Monday ISS supply mission

On Monday, SpaceX is scheduled to fire off its third resupply mission to the International Space Station, and among the nearly 5,000 pounds of supplies will be a pair of robotic legs for the station's mechanical inhabitant. Robonaut 2 (R2) is a humanoid robot torso with arms designed and built by the NASA Johnson Space Center …
Iain Thomson, 11 Apr 2014
NSA parody T-shirt

NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS

The tech world is aflutter over the Heartbleed encryption flaw in OpenSSL, but it seems that the bug was no surprise to the analysts of the NSA, since they have reportedly been using it for two years to spy on data traffic. Two sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that NSA staff picked up on the fatal flaw shortly …
Iain Thomson, 11 Apr 2014

Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper

If you're one of the few people who bought a Sony VAIO Fit 11A laptop/tablet convertible unit in the last few months, you need to unplug it immediately and step away from the system, Sony has warned. "It has come to our attention that some of the internal, non-removable battery packs provided to us by a third party supplier and …
Iain Thomson, 11 Apr 2014
NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter image of the Moon

Astronomers spot hint of first EXOMOON, possibly

Thanks to the work of the Kepler space telescope and Earth-bound observations, we have now caught sight of nearly 2,000 exoplanets: planetary bodies orbiting distant stars. But now astronomers think they've caught the first sighting of an exomoon orbiting one of these distant planets. Planetary moons are relatively common in our …
Iain Thomson, 11 Apr 2014
Reg man wears Google Glass

Google to open up Glass program to anyone with $1,500 to spare

Google has announced that anyone will soon be able to buy one of its Glass headsets for a limited time, provided they live in the US and have $1,500 (plus tax) to pay for them. Up until now, access to the Glass Explorer program has been restricted. Around 2,000 units were sold to developers who paid up at Google's 2012 I/O …
Iain Thomson, 10 Apr 2014

Ancient Earth asteroid strike that dwarfed dinosaur killer still felt today

Scientists say they have reconstructed an asteroid impact on Earth that was at least three times as massive as the strike that is thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs and the new monster had effects that are still being felt today. Asteroid impact A massive headache for Earth (click to enlarge) The research, published …
Iain Thomson, 10 Apr 2014
New USB SuperSpeed Type C cable

USB reversible cables could become standard sooner than you think

There's usually a significant delay between a new technology hardware standard being finalized and seeing it in commercial systems, but the latest update to the USB spec looks like it's going to be rolled out much faster than people think. Google Play redesign One cable to rule them all (click to enlarge) Last week, the …
Iain Thomson, 09 Apr 2014
Solar Impulse 2

Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight

After 12 years of research and testing, the Swiss engineering team Solar Impulse has unveiled the craft that will take a round-the-world- trip powered solely by photovoltaic power cells. Solar Impulse 2 Coming soon to a skyline near you "A vision counts for nothing unless it is backed up by action," said Bertrand Piccard, …
Iain Thomson, 09 Apr 2014
SGI supercomputer with liquid cooling

Eco-friendly fluid keeps SGI supercomputer cool and moist

Intel and SGI have built a new supercomputer using an advanced coolant from 3M flowing directly over the hardware to slash the running costs of such systems, and possibly to boost performance. SGI supercomputer with liquid cooling Don't try this with water The SGI ICE X system uses Intel Xeon E5-2600 processors for grunt, and …
Iain Thomson, 09 Apr 2014
Reg man wears Google Glass

Google woos enterprise developers with 'Glass at Work' program

Google is making a push to get its Glass headsets into the workplace with a new program, "Glass at Work", to entice coders to build enterprise applications for companies wanting to get into the wearable computing platform. "Today, there are thousands of consumers out there enjoying Glass in ways that are both practical and …
Iain Thomson, 08 Apr 2014

UFO, cosmic ray or flasher? NASA rules on Curiosity curiosity

The internet has been all aflutter after a picture taken by NASA's Curiosity rover appeared to show a beam of light emanating from the Red Planet's horizon. Mars light snapped by Curiosity Martian garden lights "This is not a glare from the sun, nor is it an artifact of the photo process," claimed the image's discoverer, …
Iain Thomson, 08 Apr 2014

US Supreme Court declines to hear NSA mass phone-slurp case

The US Supreme Court has declined to hear a case brought against the NSA by Verizon customers over the agency's mass collection of mobile phone call data. Lawyer Larry Klayman won the first round of the case against America's top online spying agency in December, when District of Columbia Judge Richard Leon found in favor of the …
Iain Thomson, 08 Apr 2014
Life of Brian

Internet is a TOOL OF SATAN that destroys belief, study claims

A US computer scientist has released a study claiming to have found out why so many Americans are abandoning their religious faith and says it's the internet's fault. "Internet use decreases the chance of religious affiliation," reports Allen Downey, professor of computer science at Olin school of engineering. Downey analyzed …
Iain Thomson, 07 Apr 2014
iPhone Battery

Samsung slurps up full charge in 30 seconds with bio-battery

A two-year-old Israeli startup, StoreDot, thinks it has cracked the problems of limited battery life with a smartphone battery made of biological structures that can recharge in around 30 seconds. StoreDot sprang from research into Alzheimer's at Tel Aviv University which identified naturally occurring crystals two nanometers in …
Iain Thomson, 07 Apr 2014
Flower clock

Time is on their side: NIST's new atomic clock accurate for 300 MEEELLION years

Some people are nuts about knowing the correct time, but the boffins at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have taken such habits further than anyone else with a new atomic clock that's accurate to 10 trillionths of a second per day. The clock, snappily dubbed NIST-F2, uses the frequency of a particular …
Iain Thomson, 05 Apr 2014

Five-year-old discovers Xbox password bug, hacks dad's Live account

A five-year-old boy has found and exploited a password flaw in his Xbox to hack into his father's Xbox Live account. Still of Kristoffer playing on the Xbox Look out, Mitnick ... Kristoffer Von Hassel on his Xbox (Credit: ABC 10 / KGTV) The parents of Kristoffer Von Hassel, from Ocean Beach in San Diego, California, noticed …
Iain Thomson, 04 Apr 2014
LLCD laser space broadband

NASA's LADEE: A Great Gig in the Sky, now on a death dive to the Dark Side of the Moon

NASA has confirmed it will crash its Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) probe into the Moon's surface on April 21 after the successful completion of its missions. LADEE has been operating around the Moon since November, analyzing its scant atmosphere to solve one of the odder mysteries of our natural …
Iain Thomson, 04 Apr 2014
The USB 3.1 Logo

BEHOLD the HOLY GRAIL of TECH: The REVERSIBLE USB plug

Intel has been showing off the next generation of USB connectors which will be the first to fit into ports whichever way up they are – thus avoid the Schrödinger's USB stick problem. The chip giant says the final specification will be locked down by July by the USB Implementers Forum, of which Intel is a member. In a …
Iain Thomson, 04 Apr 2014
The El Gordo galaxy

Does my mass look big in this? Roly-poly galaxy El Gordo more porky than first feared

The latest data from the Hubble space telescope has shown that the furthest fattest galaxy yet spotted is 43 per cent more massive than first thought and was formed by two huge galaxies colliding. The El Gordo galaxy Galaxy with a weight problem, for astronomers at least Galactic cluster ACT-CL J0102-4915 – nicknamed El Gordo …
Iain Thomson, 03 Apr 2014
Bounty hunters

How much is a security bug report worth to Facebook? About $2,100

Facebook wasn't the first to offer security researchers bounties for reporting vulnerabilities – but the social network reports it paid out $1.5m in 2013 for bug reports, and says it is increasing the amount of cash on offer in the coming year. According to the advertising giant, it received 14,763 reports of suspected flaws …
Iain Thomson, 03 Apr 2014
money trap conceptual illustration

Your files held hostage by CryptoDefense? Don't pay up! The decryption key is on your hard drive

A basic rookie programming error has crippled an otherwise advanced piece of ransomware dubbed CryptoDefense – but the crap coders are still pulling in more than $30,000 a month from unwary punters. Symantec reports that the malware, once it infects a Windows PC, encrypts the victim's files using a 2,048-bit RSA public key, …
Iain Thomson, 03 Apr 2014

Amazon sets FIRE to your living room in bid to shake up TV streaming

After months of speculation, Amazon has finally released a $99 set-top box that'll tout TV programs, music, and games to subscribers. Amazon Fire TV and controller 0.7-in thick and a rather dull design ... same price as the Apple TV without the gloss “Tiny box, huge specs, tons of content, incredible price -people are going …
Iain Thomson, 02 Apr 2014
Google bus protests in San Francisco

Puking! protester! forces! Yahoo! 'techie! scum!' to! ride! vile! bile! barf! bus! to! work!

Gangs of protesters halted Silicon Valley commuter buses in Oakland, California, this morning – with one group calling itself The Red Son swarming over a Yahoo! coach and one member throwing up over the windscreen. The protest was staged outside the MacArthur Bay Area Rapid Transport station. It's claimed about 50 people …
Iain Thomson, 02 Apr 2014

Extended Random: The PHANTOM NSA-RSA backdoor that never was

Over the last day or so the security press has been touting stories of a second NSA-induced backdoor in RSA's encryption software BSafe. But it appears to be more sound and fury than substance. The brouhaha was kicked off by a Reuters report into an as-yet-unpublished academic study examining the cryptographically crap Dual …
Iain Thomson, 02 Apr 2014
yawn

Page through Page's page page-views: Google+ shows how many saw your profile

Google has added a new feature to its Google+ kinda-social network that identifies how many people have looked at your profile page, blog and photos on Google+. "Starting today you’ll see a new number on your Google+ profile or page: total content views," said Eddie Kessler, a Google engineering manager. "This number is the sum …
Iain Thomson, 01 Apr 2014
World Cup kicking exoskeleton

Soccer's dull? A MIND-CONTROLLED robo-suit will be used to take first World Cup 2014 kick

When the football (soccer for our American readers) World Cup 2014 kicks off in June, the first person to put boot to ball will be a Brazilian paraplegic person using a robotic exoskeleton controlled by an electronic skull cap. World Cup kicking exoskeleton MOre intelligent than Wayne Rooney? The robotic exoskeleton, …
Iain Thomson, 01 Apr 2014