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Neil McAllister

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Evil Android

App permissions? Pah! Rogue Android soft can 'place phone calls at will'

Researchers at German security firm Curesec have identified bugs present in most versions of Android that can allow malicious applications to place phone calls, even when they lack the necessary permissions. By exploiting these vulnerabilities, rogue apps can get up to such mischief as surreptitiously dialing out to expensive …
Neil McAllister, 07 Jul 2014

Big Java security fixes on the way – but not so fast, Windows XP users

As if running Windows XP after Microsoft withdrew support wasn't risky enough, XP users who have Java installed may soon have even more to worry about. Oracle is due to issue its next Critical Patch Update – the massive, quarterly fix-it fests that deliver security updates across the company's entire product line, including Java …
Neil McAllister, 04 Jul 2014

Qualcomm fires DMCA shotgun at alleged code thieves on GitHub – including itself

A company claiming to represent Qualcomm has shut down a number of repositories on source-code sharing site GitHub under provisions of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) – including at least one repository belonging to Qualcomm itself. In a letter published by GitHub this week, web intelligence outfit Cyveillance …
Neil McAllister, 03 Jul 2014
Paul Winchell

Your Android phone is a SNITCH: Wi-Fi bug makes you easy to track

Your mobile device could be compromising your privacy by broadcasting your location history over the air, even when it is in sleep mode, according to new research by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Of particular concern are newer Android gadgets, specifically those running Android 3.1 "Honeycomb" or later. That version of …
Neil McAllister, 03 Jul 2014
More flaws found in Java

No, modular Java isn't dead. It'll be in Java 9 – honest

Despite significant delays, Oracle is once again moving forward with Project Jigsaw, a major undertaking that aims to allow Java developers to break their programs down into independent, interoperable modules. Jigsaw was first intended to be a major features of Java 8. By 2012 Big O decided that waiting for Jigsaw to be ready …
Neil McAllister, 03 Jul 2014
Timothy C. Draper

VC who wants to split California REVEALED as Silk Road Bitcoin slurper

Venture capitalist Tim Draper has revealed that he is the investor who snapped up nearly 30,000 Bitcoins seized from shut-down online drugs market Silk Road, having outbid all comers in an auction held by the US Marshals Service last week. The 29,656.51306529 Bitcoins nabbed from Silk Road's digital wallets were auctioned off as …
Neil McAllister, 02 Jul 2014

Mystery bidder plunders the whole haul in Silk Road Bitcoin auction

The US Marshals Service says the entire hoard of Bitcoins seized from shuttered online drugs souk Silk Road have gone to a single bidder in an auction held on Friday. The 29,656.51306529 Bitcoins that prosecutors wrested from wallets belonging to Silk Road have an estimated real-world value of around $19m at today's exchange …
Neil McAllister, 02 Jul 2014

'I don't want to go on the cart' ... OpenSSL revived with survival roadmap

The OpenSSL project, having suffered sharp criticism following the revelation of a string of serious security vulnerabilities, has published a roadmap explaining how it plans to address users' concerns. "The OpenSSL project is increasingly perceived as slow-moving and insular," the intro to the document states. "This roadmap …
Neil McAllister, 01 Jul 2014
3-rotor WWII Enigma

Microsoft thumbs nose at NSA, hardens crypto for Outlook, OneDrive

Microsoft has flipped the switch to activate stronger encryption on its OneDrive and Outlook.com cloud services as part of a broader effort to make it harder for the NSA and other spying agencies to snoop on its customers' data. Specifically, Outlook.com now supports TLS encryption on all connections to its servers, both …
Neil McAllister, 01 Jul 2014
Same-faced children from the film "Pink Floyd: The Wall"

Conformist Google: Android devices must LOOK, WORK ALIKE

Don't expect to see "skins" like HTC Sense or Samsung TouchWiz on kit made with Google's new versions of Android for devices, a source familiar with the company's plans has said. Much like how Google is forcing device makers to stick to the default UI if they want to carry its new Android Silver brand, gadgets running Android …
Neil McAllister, 01 Jul 2014

Apple ships security fixes for iOS, OS X, Safari ... basically EVERYTHING

Apple on Monday shipped new versions of its operating systems, its web browser, and Apple TV firmware – with each update a minor release aimed at fixing bugs and closing security vulnerabilities. The latest release of OS X Mavericks, version 10.9.4, addresses a total of 19 vulnerabilities in a variety of OS subsystems, ranging …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jun 2014
Firing squad

Google's Quickoffice taken behind shed ... 'Oh, what's the gun for?'

Quickoffice, Google's Microsoft Office–compatible productivity app for Android and iOS, is no more – sort of. In a brief note published to the Google Apps blog last week, the company said it soon plans to "unpublish" Quickoffice from Google Play and the iTunes App Store. "Existing users with the app can continue to use it, but …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jun 2014

Germany dumps Verizon for Deutsche Telekom over NSA spying

The German government has said it will cancel its contract with US telecoms provider Verizon, citing spying fears. "The pressures on networks as well as the risks from highly-developed viruses or Trojans are rising," the country's Interior Ministry told Reuters on Thursday. "Furthermore, the ties revealed between foreign …
Neil McAllister, 26 Jun 2014
Google's Cardboard VR headset

Google's Oculus-defying VR headset is made of CARDBOARD – no joke

Among the other announcements at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco this week, the Chocolate Factory says it's moving into virtual reality – albeit in a decidedly low-fi way. Attendees of the Wednesday morning I/O keynote each received a free VR headset called Cardboard – so named because it is, in fact, made out of …
Neil McAllister, 26 Jun 2014

Verizon to turn LTE faucet back on for Chromebook Pixel users

Verizon Wireless says it will work with Chromebook Pixel owners whose free LTE service was prematurely cut off to ensure that they get their 100MB of monthly mobile data for the full two-year period that was promised. Earlier we reported that some owners of the LTE edition of Google's pricey Chromebook Pixel were claiming that …
Neil McAllister, 25 Jun 2014
LIDL's soft toy showing circular saw blades

Aaah, what's that smell, Nook? Yes, it's death: Barnes & Noble to jettison e-book biz

Barnes & Noble has announced plans to spin off its floundering Nook e-book business as its revenues continue their long decline. On Wednesday, the bookseller reported retail revenues of $956m for the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2014, more or less flat from the year-ago quarter. Meanwhile, revenues from the Nook division were …
Neil McAllister, 25 Jun 2014
Glasshole

Google Glass gets 2GB of RAM. Think about this. Two gigs of RAM

Just ahead of its annual I/O developer conference, Google has announced some changes to its Glass Explorer program. It's not clear who will reap the benefits, though. Most notably, Google announced via the Glass team's official Google+ page that future headsets will ship with 2GB of RAM, up from the 1GB they've been shipping …
Neil McAllister, 25 Jun 2014

Mozilla to cram a full web-dev IDE inside Firefox browser

All of the major web browser vendors now ship developer tools with their products, but Mozilla is planning to go whole hog by building a full integrated development environment (IDE) for web apps right into its Firefox browser. WebIDE in Firefox Nightly - June 2014 Called – naturally enough – WebIDE, the feature is still in its …
Neil McAllister, 24 Jun 2014
Pinky and the Brain

Search, done. Ads, done. What next for Google? Domain registration

Google is poised to further its dominance of all things internet with a move into domain-name registration. Plenty of people find companies online by typing their names into Google Search, rather than typing their URLs into their browsers, but the launch of Google Domains will mark the first time the online ad-slinger has dealt …
Neil McAllister, 23 Jun 2014

Microsoft ups OneDrive storage, slashes prices to match Google Drive

The race to the bottom in the cloud storage market continues, with Microsoft lobbing lots more free storage at its consumer customers and slashing prices on the paid tiers of its OneDrive online storage locker by more than 70 per cent. "The landscape is changing to the point that we believe it's no longer enough to provide only …
Neil McAllister, 23 Jun 2014
forks reforking

Bored yet? Now there's ANOTHER OpenSSL fork – it's from Google

With developers still struggling to plug vulnerabilities in the open source OpenSSL crypto library, Google has spun off a new fork of the project based on its own, internal work with the code, dubbed BoringSSL. "We have used a number of patches on top of OpenSSL for many years," Google dev Adam Langley said in a blog post …
Neil McAllister, 21 Jun 2014
School kids

FCC to spend $2 BEEELLION to install Wi-Fi in US schools

The US Federal Communications Commission says it plans to outfit the nation's schools and libraries with Wi-Fi and high-speed broadband connections, and it has earmarked $2bn to do it. "The simple fact of the matter is that the free market has failed to provide basic broadband connectivity to more than 15 million Americans," FCC …
Neil McAllister, 20 Jun 2014

Surprise Android 'KitKat' update fixes nasty OpenSSL vuln

Android fans who are hoping Google will debut a new version of the OS at its annual I/O conference in San Francsico next week might be in for a disappointment ... because the company is rolling out a new version this week. On Friday, the Chocolate Factory published firmware images of Android 4.4.4 – yes, we're still talking " …
Neil McAllister, 20 Jun 2014
Photo of the KitKat mascot among the Android lawn statues

Android to drop Dalvik VM for high-performance ART in next version

The next version of Google's Android smartphone OS may ship with a new code execution engine that improves performance and battery life, if a new report is to be believed. The current engine, Dalvik, is getting long in the tooth, and developers have long grumbled that it doesn't run their code as efficiently as it could. Google …
Neil McAllister, 20 Jun 2014

Microsoft to let customers know where Office 365 is going

Microsoft has launched two new initiatives designed to help its Office 365 business customers more easily anticipate forthcoming changes to the online service, including a public roadmap and a voluntary program that allows customers to receive some updates early. One benefit of using cloudy services such as Office 365 is that …
Neil McAllister, 19 Jun 2014
Red Hat Shadowman logo

Rising Red Hat reaps rewards of cloud growth

Open source software vendor Red Hat once again showed strong growth in the first quarter of its fiscal 2015, with rising revenues driven by strong sales to enterprise customers. "We now count 94 per cent of the Fortune 500 and 90 per cent of the Fortune Global 500 as customers," Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst said in a canned …
Neil McAllister, 19 Jun 2014
Photo of the Amazon Fire Phone

Amazon's not-actually-3D Fire: Bezos' cash register in YOUR pocket

If you like smartphones and you like shopping, then you just might like the Fire Phone, the first handset to be released by Jeff Bezos' etail juggernaut Amazon - and as you'd expect, it's all about shopping. The announcement that Bezos' e-tail titan plans to release an own-branded mobe came as no surprise, but what was actually …
Neil McAllister, 19 Jun 2014

Code Spaces goes titsup FOREVER after attacker NUKES its Amazon-hosted data

Source code hosting provider Code Spaces has suffered the ultimate cloud nightmare, having been effectively forced out of business by the actions of an attacker who managed to gain access to its Amazon EC2 control panel. The devastating incident began on June 17 when Code Spaces – a company that claimed to offer "Rock Solid, …
Neil McAllister, 18 Jun 2014
BlackBerry and Android, together at last

BlackBerry inks deal with Amazon to get Android apps on its mobes

BlackBerry is shaking up its code store options in a bid to win new apps and content for its widely shunned BlackBerry 10 smartphones. Most notably, the Canadian firm announced on Wednesday that it has reached a licensing agreement with Amazon to allow BlackBerry users access to the Amazon Appstore. Amazon's store won't replace …
Neil McAllister, 18 Jun 2014
Nest Protect

Google's too-smart-for-own-good Nest Protect alarm is back on sale

Google's Nest smart smoke alarm is back on sale at a lower price after being withdrawn from store shelves for nearly a month because of a safety issue. "We're very pleased that Nest Protect is once again available to customers," Nest marketing chief Doug Sweeny said in a blog post. "And now, the price is $99 to make it …
Neil McAllister, 18 Jun 2014

Sneak peek: Microsoft's next browser (thanks, IE Developer Channel)

Taking a page from rival web-browser makers, Microsoft has launched a developer channel to give programmers an early taste of upcoming Internet Explorer features. The Internet Explorer Developer Channel comes in the form of a special edition of the IE browser that receives new features and updates before they become available in …
Neil McAllister, 17 Jun 2014
Screenshots of Facebook's Slingshot app

Slingshot: Facebook unwraps chat app to splat Snapchat brats

Facebook has officially announced Slingshot, its Snapchat-like phone app for sharing self-destructing photo messages, one week after accidentally releasing an early version on Apple's App Store. As everyone already knew because of Facebook's blunder, the standalone Slingshot app allows you to share photos and videos that delete …
Neil McAllister, 17 Jun 2014
Iphone_hard_case

Synaptics, longing for Apple's love, gobbles chip outfit Renesas SP

Touch tech kingpin Synaptics has agreed to buy Japanese chip firm Renesas SP Drivers for $475m in a bid to win a bigger presence in the exploding mobile device market. The Japanese company is a joint venture between Renesas, Sharp, and Powerchip that specializes in silicon for managing LCD displays – which, of course, are found …
Neil McAllister, 12 Jun 2014

Windows 8 leaker gets three months, booted back to Russia

Alex Kibkalo, the former Microsoft worker who pleaded guilty in April to leaking company secrets, is likely headed back to his native Russia in a week or so, having been sentenced to serve a brief stint in prison. According to court documents, Kibkalo was formally sentenced on Tuesday to a three-month prison term, per his plea …
Neil McAllister, 11 Jun 2014
HP Chromebox

HP has Chromeboxes with Intel Core i7 chips, but they'll cost you

HP has started taking orders for its new line of Chromeboxes, but while some carry the low price tags we've come to expect from Chrome OS devices, others are surprisingly expensive. Intel spilled the beans last September that hardware makers would be offering desktop Chrome OS kit with Haswell processors this year, and Asus …
Neil McAllister, 11 Jun 2014
Alienware Steam Machine

Alienware says it WILL ship a Steam Machine in 2014 – running Windows

High-end gaming PC vendor Alienware says it will still put out a Steam Machine console this year, even if it can't ship it with Valve's vaunted mega-controller – and it won't arrive running SteamOS. The Dell division's console, now officially dubbed the Alienware Alpha, still looks very much like the design that was revealed in …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jun 2014

Container-friendly Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 hits general availability

On Tuesday, Red Hat announced general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, a version that it immodestly claims will "redefine the enterprise operating system." Following the typical six-month beta cycle and a release candidate that shipped in April, RHEL 7 delivers an enterprise-grade distribution of many of the latest …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jun 2014
iOS 8

New Apple iOS to help fanbois thwart Wi-Fi network spies

Apple says it will tweak the networking stack in its forthcoming iOS 8 smartphone OS that'll put an additional stumbling block in front of advertisers, marketers, and other snoops looking to collect information about you from your mobile devices. The iPhone maker announced the change during its annual Worldwide Developers …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jun 2014
Repo Man

Flying cars, submarine cars – Elon Musk says NOTHING is beyond him

Not impressed with Tesla Motors' line of all-electric cars so far? The company's billionaire founder, Elon Musk, says he's still thinking of new ways to wow you, as long as he can get the technological kinks ironed out. "Maybe we'll make a flying car, just for fun," Musk told The Independent during a launch event for the Tesla S …
Neil McAllister, 09 Jun 2014
Credit: katso käyttöehdot http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linus_Torvalds#mediaviewer/Tiedosto:Linus_Torvalds_talking.jpeg

Everyone can and should learn to code? RUBBISH, says Torvalds

Outspoken Linux creator Linus Torvalds has taken issue with the oft-repeated assertion that in today's world everybody should learn computer programming, saying he just doesn't believe in it. In an interview with Business Insider over the weekend, the Linux kernel king said that even though he grew up with computers and he …
Neil McAllister, 09 Jun 2014
Google Doodle honoring Honinbo Shusaku

Whoops! Google's D-Day Doodle honors ... Japan

Google has apologized for publishing a Google Doodle honoring a Japanese Go player on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, blaming a technical glitch. "We always intended to highlight a new exhibition of imagery and archive material commemorating D-Day on our homepage," the online ad-slinger said in a statement. "Unfortunately a …
Neil McAllister, 06 Jun 2014
The 10.1 inch Galaxy Tab4

Here come Samsung's, er, Barnes & Noble's new Galaxy Tab, er, Nook fondleslabs

Bookselling giant Barnes & Noble is back in the tablet business – sort of – thanks to a new partnership with Samsung. The company announced on Thursday that it will soon offer co-branded Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook fondleslabs that come preloaded with custom software for reading e-books, magazines, and newspapers provided by …
Neil McAllister, 05 Jun 2014
Marc Andreessen

Marc Andreessen: Edward Snowden is a 'textbook traitor'

Netscape cofounder and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen has said that NSA leaker Edward Snowden is a "textbook traitor," even though he admits that his peers in Silicon Valley mostly don't see it that way. "Obviously he's a traitor," Andreessen said in an interview with CNBC. "If you look up in the encyclopedia, 'traitor', …
Neil McAllister, 05 Jun 2014
SOURCE:  http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=1412135

Samsung's 'OS of Everything' Tizen still has little to offer

The first smartphone running the Linux-based Tizen OS is here, even if it will likely be a long time before most of us can get our hands on it. But forget about phones – Tizen is also about cars, TVs, home automation, wearables, and more. At least, that was the message put forth at the third annual Tizen Developer Conference in …
Neil McAllister, 05 Jun 2014
Hologram communication - Star Wars

Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi! 3D HOLO-PHONE hinted in Amazon vid

Amazon plans to unveil a new device later this month, according to a video posted to the e-tailer's official YouTube channel. The cryptic clip features a series of people waggling their heads at an unknown product and saying things like, "that is really cool," "that's super awesome," and "oh, woo." "It's very real-life," says …
Neil McAllister, 04 Jun 2014

Google's Nexus devices get stealth Android update

Google has quietly begun rolling out a new version of Android to its flagship Nexus devices, but so far it has remained shtum on just what has changed. Support pages from US wireless player T-Mobile reveal that the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 handsets and the 2013 version of the Nexus 7 tablet all began receiving over-the-air updates to …
Neil McAllister, 03 Jun 2014
iOS 8

New iOS 8 SDK: Come in, apps. Get cozy, sip wine, swap numbers

For its latest software development kit (SDK) for the forthcoming iOS 8, Apple has adjusted the platform's sandbox security model to allow apps to provide services to other apps running on the same device for the first time. "This release is the biggest release since the launch of the App Store," Apple CEO Tim Cook said during …
Neil McAllister, 02 Jun 2014

Apple: We'll tailor Swift to be a fast new programming language

Apple stunned the audience at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday with a tool few expected: a new programming language for iOS and OS X software called Swift. There already is a programming language called Swift that was developed by the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory for use in …
Neil McAllister, 02 Jun 2014
Screenshot of Windows Phone 8.1 Files app

Microsoft lobs Files app at WinPhone users with lots of ... uh ... files

Microsoft on Friday shipped Files, its on-device file management app for Windows Phone, addressing a long-standing gripe some users have had with Redmond's smartphone OS. Windows Phone chief Joe Belfiore first teased the app during a Reddit AMA on May 2, saying his team hoped to get it into the Windows Store "by the end of May …
Neil McAllister, 31 May 2014
Virgin Galactic's SpaceshipTwo

FAA: All systems GO for Virgin Galactic space plane to launch from US

Beardy Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic is one step closer to opening its cabin doors for business, having secured authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to launch its rocket plane from US soil. The Virgin mogul's space tourism outfit announced on Thursday that it has reached an agreement with the FAA that …
Neil McAllister, 30 May 2014