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Neil McAllister

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Microsoft campus

Microsoft's bagging more bucks – but profit flat as Nadella waves axe

Microsoft posted solid yet unspectacular results for both the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2014 and the full fiscal year, even as investors brace for new CEO Satya Nadella to lower the axe on as many as 18,000 staffers as part of a restructuring announced earlier this week. Revenues for the quarter beat analysts' estimates …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jul 2014

iTime for a smartwatch: Apple granted modular wrist-puter patent

Rumors that Apple will unveil a smartwatch this year became slightly more concrete on Tuesday, on news that Cupertino has been granted a patent for a wearable device that may or may not be called iTime. As detailed in US Patent 8,787,006, the device is "an electronic wristband to be worn on a wrist of a user," which includes a " …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jul 2014
Samsung Galaxy Gear

Samsung looks to up Tizen market share ... by upgrading Galaxy Gear

Owners of the original, Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch in the US will soon have the option to switch their devices to the Tizen operating system, a change which might, counterintuitively perhaps, actually be a good idea. Samsung shipped its first smartwatch model running a stripped-down version of Android – …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jul 2014
Sorry we're closed

Samsung supplier halts assembly line amid child-labor probe

Debt collectors are literally circling the factory of a Chinese supplier to Samsung, where the assembly line remains halted following allegations that it hired underage workers. Samsung, which claims to have a "zero tolerance policy on child labor," said in a statement last week that it had temporarily suspended its relationship …
Neil McAllister, 21 Jul 2014
Screenshot of a revamped Windows 8.x Start Menu

August Patch Tuesday to bring Windows bug fixes AND FEATURES – report

Microsoft's next major update roll-out for Windows 8.1 may be less than a month away, if the latest rumors are to be believed, but just what will be so "major" about it is still anybody's guess. Over the last few months, we've heard plenty of talk about a follow-up to April's Windows 8.1 Update – itself a release so significant …
Neil McAllister, 21 Jul 2014
Nosferatu

Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS

If you've been wondering why the battery life on your Windows laptop or tablet seems so lousy, your Chrome web browser might be to blame – and it may have been sapping your system's juice for years. A documented bug in the source code for the Chromium open source project seems to account for the mysterious power drain that some …
Neil McAllister, 19 Jul 2014
Lenovo ThinkPad 8

For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets

Lenovo has pulled some 8-inch Windows tablet models from the US market, citing lack of demand, but a Lenovo spokesman has told The Register that contrary to reports, the Chinese firm has no intention of giving up on smaller Windows fondleslabs in the US. ITworld was first to claim that the Lenovo ThinkPad 8 and the smaller model …
Neil McAllister, 18 Jul 2014
Photo of HIV/AIDS researcher Dr Joep Lange, who was killed in the crash of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17

Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists

Several passengers aboard downed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 were headed to the 20th International AIDS Conference taking place in Melbourne, Australia when the plane crashed, according to reports. On Friday, the International AIDS Society confirmed in a statement [PDF] that "a number of colleagues and friends" were aboard …
Neil McAllister, 18 Jul 2014

Google's revenues swell yet again, yet big earnings elude it

Google continued to mint money in the second quarter of its fiscal 2014, with revenues booming compared to the year-ago period, yet its earnings still managed to disappoint eager Wall Street analysts who were expecting even greater returns. This quarter, the online ad-slinger posted revenues of $16.0bn, which soundly beat the …
Neil McAllister, 18 Jul 2014
Firefox OS RHS teaser

Firefox OS lands in Germany – with France, Asia, and more to come

Mozilla's Firefox OS continues its slow march across the globe, with carriers set to begin shipping devices running the open source, browser-based smartphone platform in additional developed markets this week. Spanish telecoms giant Telefónica has previously sold Firefox OS phones in Spain, but the bulk of its efforts have been …
Neil McAllister, 17 Jul 2014
Assange

Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet

Head WikiLeaker Julian Assange™'s latest bid to move off Ecuador's couch and back into normal digs has failed: a Swedish court has upheld the arrest warrant against him on allegations of sexual assault. Assange's lawyers filed a petition to withdraw the warrant on Tuesday, in hopes that the WikiLeaks founder could avoid …
Neil McAllister, 17 Jul 2014

Accused! Yahoo! exec! SUES! her! accuser!, says! sex! harassment! never! happened!

Maria Zhang, the Yahoo! executive accused of sexual harassment by former staffer Nan Shi, has filed a countersuit for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress, claiming Shi's allegations are nothing but a pack of lies. Lawyers representing Zhang filed the cross-complaint in the California Superior Court in …
Neil McAllister, 16 Jul 2014

Price cuts, new features coming for Office 365 small biz customers

Microsoft is still keen to shift its perpetual-license Office customers over to the Office 365 subscription model, and to that end it's planning a shakeup of its Office 365 plans for small and midsized businesses to offer customers more value and greater flexibility. Beginning on October 1, Redmond will launch three new Office …
Neil McAllister, 16 Jul 2014

Can nothing trip up the runaway cash monster that is Intel? Well...

Intel posted solid earnings for the second quarter of its fiscal 2014 on Tuesday, yet for all its encouraging growth, Chipzilla remains hard hit by the soft PC market and it still shows worrying weakness in the otherwise-booming mobile sector. Total revenues for the three months ending June 28 were $13.8bn, a 7.8 per cent year- …
Neil McAllister, 15 Jul 2014
Nokia Lumia 630

Nokia emits Windows Phone 8.1 'Cyan' upgrade for Lumia gear

Nokia is rolling out Windows Phone 8.1 as an over-the-air update that comes bundled with "Cyan," a special feature package that's exclusive to Lumia devices. The move comes two months after the Finnish firm launched the Lumia 630, its first new device since becoming a Microsoft subsidiary and the first phone to ship with Windows …
Neil McAllister, 15 Jul 2014

New leaked 'Windows 8 screenshot': The Start Menu strikes back

A purportedly leaked screenshot of what appears to be an upcoming version of Windows has given us a closer look at the much-rumored new "hybrid" Start Menu, suggesting it may be coming sooner, rather than later. We were given our first glimpse at Redmond's future UI direction at the company's annual Build developer conference in …
Neil McAllister, 15 Jul 2014

Chinese biz bloke builds his OWN 3,500-mile Tesla charger network

Disappointed at the lack of charging stations for his Tesla S electric car in his home province, a Guangdong-based businessman has responded in typically Chinese fashion: he built his own. And not just one, either. According to English-language news site Caixin Online, 44-year-old Zong Yi used his own money to buy and install an …
Neil McAllister, 14 Jul 2014

Female! ex-Yahoo! coder! says! female! boss! fired! her! for! refusing! sex!

A female ex-Yahoo! employee has filed suit against Maria Zhang, a top company exec, alleging that Zhang retaliated against her and ultimately had her fired from the Purple Palace after she refused Zhang's sexual advances. In documents [PDF] filed with the California Superior Court in Santa Clara on Friday and obtained Monday by …
Neil McAllister, 14 Jul 2014
LibreSSL

LibreSSL crypto library leaps from OpenBSD to Linux, OS X, more

The OpenBSD project has released the first portable version of LibreSSL, the team's OpenSSL fork – meaning it can be built for operating systems other than OpenBSD. The LibreSSL project, which aims to clean up the buggy and inscrutable OpenSSL code, was founded about two months ago by a group of OpenBSD developers, so it only …
Neil McAllister, 12 Jul 2014
Screenshot of a Windows Apportal

Microsoft wants to lure biz users with fondleable Windows 8.1 'Apportals'

Microsoft is once again trying to convince businesses to get on board with its touch-centric computing vision, with the introduction of a new tool called Windows Apportals. Billed as a way to "integrate your entire Line of Business (LOB) stack into a single, modern, touch-based experience," Apportals allow companies to build …
Neil McAllister, 11 Jul 2014

Samsung Z mobe a NO-SHOW at Moscow Tizen Developer Summit

Samsung has suffered another setback in its quest to offer the world an alternative to Android, having failed to launch the first smartphone running its Tizen mobile OS as planned. The Tizen-powered Samsung Z does exist. There were plenty on display at the Tizen Developer Conference in San Francisco in June. What conference …
Neil McAllister, 11 Jul 2014
Cat 5 cable

Dish Network to FCC: Block that Comcast/Time Warner merger

US satellite TV provider Dish Network has asked the Federal Communications Commission to block the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, and it's none too happy about AT&T's pending acquisition of DirecTV, either. The company's position was made known on Wednesday in a mandatory filing with the FCC summarizing a …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jul 2014
Child labourers

Another Samsung supplier fingered in new 'child labor' probe

Samsung is once again under fire from a watchdog that claims the South Korean leviathan sources components from suppliers that employ child laborers. China Labor Watch (CLW) on Thursday identified a factory called Shinyang Electronics, located in Dongguan, China, that it alleges hires children to work long hours for little pay …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jul 2014

Elon Musk to fund Tesla museum with 'ONE MEEELLION DOLLARS'

Electric-car mogul Elon Musk has agreed to help fund a museum dedicated to the late scientist Nikola Tesla, to the tune of $1m. Musk, who named his car company after Tesla, reportedly agreed to help support the museum after a phone conversation with web cartoonist Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal. Popular geek Inman has …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jul 2014

Presto! After Supreme Court loss, Aereo says it's a cable company now

After months of claiming it had "no Plan B" if it lost its case before the US Supreme Court, TV-streaming outfit Aereo has told a judge that it wants to remain in business – as a cable operator. In a four-page letter to US District Judge Alison Nathan, first revealed by the Hollywood Reporter, Aereo's attorneys make the case for …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jul 2014

YES, you CAN install paid-for apps on Android Wear – if devs rebuild them

Google has published a workaround that allows paid-for apps to be installed on Android Wear devices, but it's hardly straightforward and it's nothing device owners can do themselves. Early adopters who purchased LG G or Samsung Gear Live smartwatches have been stymied by a glitch in the Google Play store's app encryption scheme …
Neil McAllister, 09 Jul 2014
Photo of burning books

Amazon woos dispute-stung Hachette scribes with 100% ROYALTIES

Amazon has turned up the heat in its ongoing dispute with book giant Hachette, having approached several of the publisher's authors and their agents with a proposal that sounds too good to pass up. For the last few months, Amazon has been playing hardball with Hachette over pricing of the publisher's e-books. Among other …
Neil McAllister, 08 Jul 2014

Bloodied Samsung's profits down 25% as it clings to mobe crown

Samsung issued unaudited earnings guidance for the second quarter of its fiscal 2014 on Tuesday – and although it once again pulled in an impressive pile of coin, all is not going as well as was hoped for the world's biggest smartphone maker. The company said it now anticipates revenues of around 52.0 trillion South Korean won …
Neil McAllister, 08 Jul 2014
BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry claims ugly duckling Passport mobe is a swan in the offing

BlackBerry's forthcoming Passport handset may look odd at first glance, but the company claims it had good reason to break with traditional smartphone designs for its latest, square-shaped device. "We've been living in a rectangular world for quite some time and know it's a great ergonomic design that drives content, media …
Neil McAllister, 08 Jul 2014
Isis mobile wallet logo

Islamic terror peril hits US giants' phone wallets

US mobile payments biz Isis has decided to change its name to avoid associations with terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Isis – not an acronym for anything – offers a pay-by-tap platform that allows customers to use their NFC-enabled smartphones to make purchases wirelessly. As such, it competes directly …
Neil McAllister, 07 Jul 2014
CentOS

Free Red Hat clone CentOS-7 is full of Linux Container love

The CentOS Project has announced general availability of CentOS-7, the first release of the free Linux distro based on the source code for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7. It's also the first major CentOS release to ship since the CentOS Project entered into a new funding and co-development partnership with Red Hat in January …
Neil McAllister, 07 Jul 2014
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