Neil McAllister

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed

Google's latest letdown: Simply not enough billions since October

Google's coffers swelled once again in the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2014, with revenues hitting $18.10bn, a 15.3 per cent year-on-year increase. The figures for the full year to December 31 were similarly encouraging. Revenues for all of fiscal 2014 amounted to $66bn, which was 18.9 per cent higher than 2013's sales. Net …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jan 2015
Cyanogen

Microsoft 'showers gold' on anti-Google Cyanogen and its Android alternative

Microsoft will invest in alternative Android firmware startup Cyanogen, a report claims. Citing anonymous sources, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Microsoft is slated to become a minority investor in an approximately $70m funding round that will see Cyanogen valued "in the high hundreds of millions." The …
Neil McAllister, 29 Jan 2015

Facebook's mobile ad bonanza brought it record returns in 2014

Facebook finished the best quarter and the best year of its history on December 31, with its latest earnings report showing record annual revenues of $12.47bn for its fiscal 2014, up 58 per cent from 2013's haul. Revenues for the fourth quarter were $3.85bn, a 49 per cent increase over the same period a year ago. That figure …
Neil McAllister, 29 Jan 2015
Qualcomm

Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 CPU dumped from flagship smartphone

Qualcomm reported record revenues for the first quarter of its fiscal 2015 on Wednesday, but the mobile chipmaker warned investors that it's still struggling to make headway in the all-important China market. The San Diego, California company reported net income of $1.97bn for the three months ending on December 28, which beat …
Neil McAllister, 28 Jan 2015
Crying girl being comforted by a woman

IBM jobs axe: 'The cuts have STARTED and are spreading' sigh staff

Word has it that IBM's latest big staff purge is now underway, with former Big Blue workers reporting that they have been handed pink slips along with kits describing their severance packages. Rumors that IBM was planning major job cuts were flying fast and furious this week, following a Forbes editorial that claimed the firm …
Neil McAllister, 28 Jan 2015

Five years of Sun software under Oracle: Were the critics right?

Oracle-Sun anniversary Back in 2010, critics worried that Sun Microsystems' software portfolio would wither on the vine once Oracle got its hands on it. Five years on and the worst fears have proven baseless, yet former Sun diehards have had plenty to be disappointed about since Larry Ellison & Co gobbled the former server heavyweight. Although Sun …
Neil McAllister, 28 Jan 2015
Yahoo!'s Q4 2014 earnings conference call

Yahoo's! Mayer!: We'll! spin! off! $40bn! Alibaba! stake! and! pay! ZERO! tax! on! it! Ha!

Yahoo! has announced plans to sell off all of its remaining stake in Chinese online giant Alibaba, even as its latest earnings report shows a company struggling to pull in revenue on its own. The Purple Palace said on Tuesday that it will spin off all of its remaining holdings in Alibaba – some 384 million shares worth an …
Neil McAllister, 28 Jan 2015
GHOST vulnerability

BOO! Grave remote-code exec flaw in GNU C Library TERRIFIES Linux

Security researchers have uncovered a critical bug in the GNU C Library (glibc), a key component of Linux and some other operating systems, which could render countless machines vulnerable to remote code execution attacks. The flaw, which was discovered by Qualys and assigned CVE-2015-0235, is known as the GHOST vulnerability …
Neil McAllister, 27 Jan 2015
Microsoft campus

Microsoft brings SUNSHINE – but it's a CLOUDY DAY

Microsoft posted another quarter of respectable results on Monday, matching analysts' earnings estimates and slightly outperforming on revenue, but its strong showing couldn't disguise the continued shakiness in its core software business. The software giant reported total revenues of $26.47bn for the second quarter of its …
Neil McAllister, 26 Jan 2015
Containers

Google offers cloudy port for Docker container images

Google has expanded its support for Docker-based Linux containers on its Cloud Platform, with the addition of a new, cloud-based hosting service for private container registries. The Chocolate Factory certainly isn't the first firm to offer hosted private Docker registries. Docker itself does, for one, as does CoreOS via its …
Neil McAllister, 24 Jan 2015
Nokia Lumia 830 group

Planning to upgrade your Lumia to Windows 10? NOT SO FAST

The latest word from Microsoft is that owners of Windows Phone 8 handsets won't necessarily be able to upgrade to Windows Phone 10 after all, in an apparent retreat from what the software giant has said previously. "Our goal is for the majority of the Lumia phones running Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 to join the Windows ecosystem …
Neil McAllister, 24 Jan 2015
windows 10 microsoft one windows

SURPRISE! Microsoft pops open Windows 10 Preview build early

Microsoft has released the next preview build of Windows 10 to members of its Windows Insider program, slightly ahead of schedule. At the big promo event in Redmond on Wednesday, Microsoft said the new build would be available "in the next two weeks," but it seems the software giant has decided its code is ready for prime time …
Neil McAllister, 23 Jan 2015
The Office

Never mind those touch apps, full Office 2016 is coming this year

Microsoft let slip a few more details of its plans for the company's Office productivity suite on Thursday, including hints about when we can expect the next major version of its desktop suite to land. Most of the Office talk at Wednesday's Windows 10 preview event in Redmond focused on the touch-centric Office for Windows 10 …
Neil McAllister, 23 Jan 2015
Amazon data center

Amazon gobbles chips firm Annapurna to speed up cloudy data centers

Amazon has agreed to buy a secretive Israeli chipmaker in an apparent bid to build new custom tech for its massive data centers. Israeli financial newspaper Calcalist was the first to report that Bezos & Co had snapped up Yoqneam, Israel–based Annapurna Labs, and Amazon later confirmed the purchase to the Wall Street Journal and …
Neil McAllister, 23 Jan 2015
Photo of billboard marketing Microsoft Surface with Windows RT

Is Windows RT not invited to the Windows 10 upgrade party?

With all the hoopla coming out of Microsoft's Windows 10 event in Redmond on Wednesday, there was surprisingly little talk of Windows RT, the feature-limited version of Windows 8.x for ARM-based tablets – and perhaps with good reason. In a Q&A with press following Wednesday's keynote, Redmond OS bosses Terry Myerson and Joe …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jan 2015
Suitcase bulging with cash

Google spent record cash lobbying Congress in 2014 – report

Google poured a record amount of cash into lobbying the US Federal Government last year, outspending its tech rivals and even the major telecommunications companies, a nonprofit group has found. According to advocacy group Consumer Watchdog, Google spent US$16.83m on lobbying in 2014, a 20 per cent year-on-year increase and the …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jan 2015

Prosecutors have 'EVISCERATED' my defense, cries Silk Road lawyer

An attorney for accused and/or alleged Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht complained that his defense of his client was "completely eviscerated" on Tuesday after the judge in Ulbricht's ongoing trial for drugs and conspiracy offenses negated much of the evidence presented last week. On Friday, attorney Joshua Dratel stunned a …
Neil McAllister, 21 Jan 2015

Ailing AMD battered by goodwill, inventory charges

AMD emerged from a bloody fourth quarter of its fiscal 2014 on Tuesday, reporting revenues down and profits sapped by painful one-time accounting charges. The chipmaker's total revenues for the three months ending on December 27, 2014 were US$1.24bn, a 22 per cent year-on-year decline. And the figure for the full year was better …
Neil McAllister, 21 Jan 2015
Red pen

Big Blue bleeds more red in Q4, promises better days to come

The fourth quarter of IBM's fiscal 2014 was a disappointing cap on a year that saw Big Blue's revenues and income both decline significantly since 2013. Total revenues for the quarter were $24.1bn, which was 12 per cent lower than the same period a year ago and missed analysts' expectations. Revenues for the full year didn't …
Neil McAllister, 20 Jan 2015

Boffins: It's EASY to make you GRASS YOURSELF UP for crimes you never did

New research has found that people are often surprisingly willing to confess to having committed crimes – even when they're innocent, or when the crimes never actually took place. According to psychboffins Julia Shaw of the University of Bedfordshire, UK and Stephen Porter of the University of British Columbia, Canada, …
Neil McAllister, 17 Jan 2015
Funnel of cash. Credit: via SXC – http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Leonardini

Google 'in talks' to buy THAT group, y'know, the one formerly known as ISIS

Google may be looking to buy struggling mobile payments firm Softcard, industry scuttlebutt suggests. The Chocolate Factory is reported to have been snooping around Softcard with an eye to acquiring it for an undisclosed sum of cash that may be less than $100m. Readers may remember Softcard as the mobile payments company …
Neil McAllister, 17 Jan 2015
UK Prime Minister David Cameron with US President Barack Obama

Prez Obama snubs UK PM's tough anti-encryption crusade at White House meet

The UK and the US will collaborate more closely to prevent "cyberattacks," the two countries' respective leaders so bravely promised in a joint press conference on Friday. Following bilateral meetings in Washington DC this week, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama jointly announced new cooperative …
Neil McAllister, 16 Jan 2015
RadioShack

Spavined RadioShack to file for bankruptcy next month – report

Ailing electronics retailer RadioShack is teetering ever closer to insolvency, reports claim, with a potential bankruptcy filing to come as soon as next month. Although RadioShack has not said that it plans to file for bankruptcy, the Wall Street Journal reports that Salus Capital Partners has already offered it $500m in …
Neil McAllister, 16 Jan 2015
Intel headquarters, Santa Clara

Medic! Intel can't stanch bleeding from mobile chip biz

Intel closed the book on a smashing first full year under CEO Brian Krzanich on Wednesday, reporting record revenues and earnings that beat analysts' estimates. But not every aspect of its business looked equally healthy, with mobile as the obvious trouble spot. Chipzilla pulled in $55.9bn in revenues during its fiscal 2014, a 6 …
Neil McAllister, 15 Jan 2015
Central Intelligence Agency

CIA exonerates CIA of all wrongdoing in Senate hacking probe

A review panel has tossed aside accusations that the US Central Intelligence Agency hacked into computers used by Senate aides investigating the torture of terror suspects, saying the CIA did nothing wrong. The CIA has been criticized by several lawmakers – in particular, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), who chairs the Senate …
Neil McAllister, 15 Jan 2015
Getting Google Glass  to fit comfortably on existing spectacles can be a challenge

Kiss your Glass goodbye: Google mothballs techno-specs (for now)

Google is killing off its Glass Explorer program but insists this isn't the end for co-founder Sergey Brin's controversial sci-fi head-gear. In a post to the official Glass Google+ account on Thursday, the Chocolate Factory said it will quit selling the current version of its spy-goggles to individuals on January 19, although it …
Neil McAllister, 15 Jan 2015
David Cameron

David Cameron: I'm off to the US to get my bro Barack to ban crypto – report

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is hoping to gain the support of US President Barack Obama in his campaign-year crusade to outlaw encrypted communications his spies can't break, sources claim. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the Conservative Cameron would like to see left-leaning Obama publicly criticize major US …
Neil McAllister, 15 Jan 2015
Node.js 'hello world' webserver

Node.js fork io.js hits version 1.0 – but don't call it production-ready

The io.js JavaScript software development runtime, a fork of Node.js, has reached version 1.0, lapping the version numbering of the original project on which it was based. Prominent Node.js developer Feodr Indutny created io.js in December 2014 after clashing with Joyent, the company that maintains Node.js, over the project's …
Neil McAllister, 14 Jan 2015
Samsung Z1

Samsung's first Tizen smartphone is HERE ... by which we mean India

The first commercially available phone running Samsung's Linux-based Tizen mobile OS has finally launched in India, and proud papa Sammy says this is only the beginning for Tizen in 2015. We've been hearing rumblings about the Samsung Z1 for months now, but actually finding a market for the device has proved difficult for the …
Neil McAllister, 14 Jan 2015
Dread Pirate Roberts

Ross Ulbricht trial Day One: 'I DID invent Silk Road ... but I'm innocent'

During the first day of the trial of Ross William Ulbricht on Tuesday, a lawyer representing the accused Silk Road mastermind once again proclaimed his client's innocence of all charges against him. Attorney Joshua Dratel said that although Ulbricht "did invent Silk Road" – the first time either Dratel or Ulbricht has ever …
Neil McAllister, 14 Jan 2015
Smilin' Marv

Are you running a Telnet server on Windows? Oh thank God. THANK GOD

It's that time of the month again, when Microsoft scrambles to plaster over the latest crop of vulnerabilities in Windows and Internet Explorer. The first Patch Tuesday of 2015 brings eight security updates, one of which is rated Critical in severity, while the rest are rated Important. The Critical patch (MS15-002) addresses a …
Neil McAllister, 13 Jan 2015
Haswell E5-2600 series die

Amazon's new EC2 compute instances run on SECRET INTEL CHIPS

Amazon Web Services has raised the stakes for high-performance cloud computing with new, compute-optimized instance types for its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service. The C4 instance types were first announced at the cloud kingpin's AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas in November. Expanding on the earlier C3 instances, C4 …
Neil McAllister, 13 Jan 2015
A Simple XMLFilter class

Google v Oracle: US Supreme Court turns to Obama in Java copyright war

The US Supreme Court hasn't decided whether it will hear arguments in the long-running dispute between Google and Oracle over Java copyrights, and it has asked the Obama administration to weigh in before it makes up its mind. On Monday, the Supremes posted a memo inviting US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr to "express the …
Neil McAllister, 12 Jan 2015
Hacked US CENTCOM Twitter account

'American soldiers, we are coming...' US CENTCOM military in Twitter hijack shame

Updated Hackers calling themselves the "CyberCaliphate" briefly seized control of the official Twitter account of US Central Command (CENTCOM) on Monday, and used it to post what appeared to be sensitive government documents. The group first posted to the CENTCOM account at around noon, Eastern Time, with a message threatening US …
Neil McAllister, 12 Jan 2015
Photo of the KitKat mascot among the Android lawn statues

Lollipop licked: KitKat still king in Android land

Android 4.4 "KitKat" is now the single most popular version of the mobile OS, according to Google's latest stats. KitKat, which first made its way onto devices in October 2013, now accounts for 39.1 per cent of all active Android devices, as measured by access logs from the Google Play Store. When we last checked the numbers in …
Neil McAllister, 08 Jan 2015
BlackBerry Messenger running on Android Wear

BlackBerry: Internet of Things! Smartwatches! Anything but the sound of a flushing toilet

CES 2015 BlackBerry used this year's CES conference in Las Vegas to make the case for a comeback, touting not just two new smartphones but also moves into wearables and the internet of things (IoT). On the wearables front, the beleaguered Canadian firm showed off a version of its BlackBerry Messenger client that runs on Android Wear …
Neil McAllister, 07 Jan 2015
The North Korean computer system

FBI boss: Sony hack was DEFINITELY North Korea, haters gonna hate

The director of the FBI has defended his bureau's claim that the hacking attack against Sony Pictures was the work of the North Korean government – saying skeptics "don't have the facts that I have." Speaking at a cybersecurity conference at Fordham University in New York City on Wednesday, FBI boss James Comey said he has "very …
Neil McAllister, 07 Jan 2015
Zombie rising from the grave

TCL confirms plans to 'bring back' Palm – provided you tell it how

CES 2015 Chinese electronics outfit TCL Communication Technology Holdings has confirmed that it is the new owner of the Palm trademarks and that it plans to revive the Palm brand as a new, US-based subsidiary. "Palm brand has always been synonymous with innovation throughout its history," the company said in a canned press release on …
Neil McAllister, 07 Jan 2015
The Office

Microsoft flings Office apps for Android slabs at world+dog

Microsoft has once again made its Office apps for Android tablets available for download, this time opening up the preview program to all comers. The software giant first offered the fondleslab versions of its Android Office apps to a limited trial group in November, but shut down its sign-up page not long after, once it had …
Neil McAllister, 06 Jan 2015

Tor pedo torpedoed: Ex-US cybersecurity guru jailed for 25 years in abuse pics sting

A former US government cybersecurity official who was arrested in 2013 on charges of participating in an online pedophile ring has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. Timothy DeFoggi, who at the time of his arrest was acting director of cybersecurity for the Department of Health and Human Services, is the sixth person to be …
Neil McAllister, 06 Jan 2015
His master's voice

Siri, are you afraid of Facebook's new speech recognition tech?

Facebook is buying speech recognition startup Wit.ai, in an apparent bid to counter rival chatterbox tech from the likes of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. "Facebook's mission is to connect everyone and build amazing experiences for the over 1.3 billion people on the platform – technology that understands natural language is a big …
Neil McAllister, 06 Jan 2015
Lumia 215

Cheap Android phones? Bah! How about a $29 mobe from Microsoft?

Microsoft has reaffirmed its commitment to the absolute bottom of the mobile market with a new, web-capable phone that will retail for just $29. In a blog post announcing the device on Monday, Microsoft described the Nokia 215 as its "most affordable internet-ready phone" – but that doesn't make it a smartphone. If you recall, …
Neil McAllister, 06 Jan 2015
Intel 5th Generation Core processor die map

Intel touts tardy Broadwell Core CPUs for laptops, PCs

CES 2015 Intel kicked off this year's CES conference in Las Vegas by taking wraps off the much-delayed fifth generation of its Core line of processors, along with the newest generation of its Atom chips for tablets. The new Core line, codenamed "Broadwell-U," brings Chipzilla's 14-nanometer process technology to mainstream desktops, …
Neil McAllister, 05 Jan 2015
Satya Nadella speaking at a Microsoft cloud event

Hey look! Microsoft's workforce isn't all white men

Fewer than half of all Microsoft employees are white males, according to the software giant's most recent census data. The numbers [PDF], which were published on December 18 and were first spotted on Friday by the Puget Sound Business Journal, show that white men made up just 47 per cent of Redmond's total workforce at last …
Neil McAllister, 04 Jan 2015
Bank vault

Cops think Mt Gox meltdown was an 'INSIDE JOB' – report

Nearly all of the funds missing from bankrupt Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox were the result of fraudulent transactions, rather than outside attacks, Japanese authorities have reportedly said. Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) told The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper on Thursday that no more than around 7,000 of the roughly 650, …
Neil McAllister, 03 Jan 2015
Paul Winchell and dummy

Google unveils Windows 8.1 zero-day vuln – complete with exploit code

Google has made public the details of a security vulnerability in Windows 8.1 a mere 90 days after disclosing it to Microsoft, sparking debate over the wisdom of the online giant's Project Zero security initiative. The bug, which was privately reported to Microsoft in September, can potentially allow a logged-in user to execute …
Neil McAllister, 03 Jan 2015
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

Prez Obama slaps sanctions on Norks in payback for Sony hack

The Obama administration has imposed new economic sanctions on North Korea in retaliation for its alleged, and frankly barely believable, involvement in the Sony Pictures mega-hack. Citing the Norks' "destructive and destabilizing conduct," US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said in a statement on Friday that the Treasury …
Neil McAllister, 02 Jan 2015
Data breach image

Want to have your server pwned? Easy: Run PHP

More than 78 per cent of all PHP installations are running with at least one known security vulnerability, a researcher has found. Google developer advocate Anthony Ferrara reached this unpleasant conclusion by correlating statistics from web survey site W3Techs with lists of known vulnerabilities in various versions of PHP. …
Neil McAllister, 31 Dec 2014
Zombie rising from the grave

World, face Palm: PDA brand to RISE FROM THE GRAVE

Remember Palm? The company that made the PDA a must-have item in the 1990s may be long gone, but it looks like the Palm brand may be due for a resurgence this year. The eagle-eyed fanatics at webOSNation.com were the first to notice that the palm.com website – and indeed any subdomain of palm.com – now redirects to a site with …
Neil McAllister, 31 Dec 2014

Survey: Tech has FREED modern workers – to work longer hours

Americans think technology has made them more productive at work, but it also has many of them working longer hours, according to a new report. The study, which was conducted by the nonprofit Pew Research Center using data gathered from 535 people in September 2014, reveals that 46 per cent of US workers believe that the …
Neil McAllister, 31 Dec 2014