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Neil McAllister

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Valve's Steam streaming service lets you play games on the toilet

Games maker Valve has launched Steam In-Home Streaming, a new service that allows Steam subscribers to view and play games that are running on their primary PCs on devices located anywhere in their homes. "When you log into Steam on two computers on the same network, they automatically connect, allowing you to remotely install, …
Neil McAllister, 22 May 2014

California gives green light to test self-driving cars on public roads

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has approved new rules governing the testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads, making it one of the first states to adopt a formal policy on self-driving cars. California Governor Jerry Brown gave the state's blessing to autonomous vehicles in 2012, when he signed off on …
Neil McAllister, 21 May 2014
Internet of Things

Forget phones, BlackBerry's new Project Ion is all about THINGS

With its smartphone sales circling the drain, beleaguered BlackBerry has announced Project Ion, a set of initiatives aimed at delivering services and infrastructure for everyone's favorite hot-button buzzword, the Internet of Things (IoT). The project was unveiled in a brief presentation at the O'Reilly Solid conference on …
Neil McAllister, 21 May 2014

No such luck: Apple, Samsung say peace talks are off – way off

If you were thinking last week's patent settlement between Apple and Google's former Motorola division might lead to a similar détente between Apple and Samsung, you probably shouldn't get your hopes up. Although the Korea Times reported on Monday that the two rivals were close to settling all of their litigation – and there is …
Neil McAllister, 20 May 2014
Cisco CEO John Chambers speaking at Cisco Live! 2014

Cisco CEO Chambers: 'Infrastructure is commodity'

Cisco CEO John Chambers says customers should expect significant consolidation in the networking industry, even as his own company strives to move into new markets. Chambers, who has spent the last 19 years as Cisco's chief exec, used his Monday afternoon keynote address at the Cisco Live! conference in San Francisco to make the …
Neil McAllister, 20 May 2014

Samsung mobes to get an eyeful of your EYE in biometric security bid

Samsung is looking to kick its competition with Apple up a notch by swapping fingerprint scanners in its smartphones for more advanced biometric devices like iris scanners, a company exec has said. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Samsung senior VP Rhee In-jong, who heads the company's Knox security platform, …
Neil McAllister, 19 May 2014
channel_partners_deal_handshake

AT&T to buy DirecTV in $49bn mega-gobble

US telecoms giant AT&T has announced plans to acquire leading US satellite TV provider DirecTV in a deal valued at $48.5bn. AT&T already offers TV via its U-Verse service, which runs over its terrestrial broadband internet lines. The company says it will continue to offer this service once the DirecTV acquisition closes. For …
Neil McAllister, 19 May 2014
Aero-X

Real, hovering SPEEDER BIKE can be YOURS for cheaper than a house

If you've ever wanted to ride a hovering motorbike like the ones featured in Return of the Jedi, you'll soon be able to get one step closer to your dream – provided you have the spare coin lying around. A California company called Aerofex has come up with the Aero-X, a two-passenger vehicle that's something like a hovercraft …
Neil McAllister, 16 May 2014
Broken CD with wrench

FSF slams Mozilla for 'shocking' Firefox DRM ankle-grab

The Free Software Foundation says it is "deeply disappointed" in Mozilla's decision to support digital rights management (DRM) software in future versions of its Firefox browser and has published an open letter condemning the move. Mozilla announced on Wednesday that it will work with Adobe to ensure that Firefox supports …
Neil McAllister, 16 May 2014
Snapchat logo

EFF blows Snapchat a raspberry in gov't surveillance report

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has issued its fourth annual "Who Has Your Back?" report, ranking internet companies on how they respond to government data requests; Snapchat, Amazon, and AT&T sit at the bottom of the ratings. The report rates 26 internet companies and assigns each as many as six stars, with each star …
Neil McAllister, 15 May 2014

Graphics pros left hanging as Adobe Creative Cloud outage nears 24 hours

Adobe is struggling to correct a global outage that has already locked customers out of its Creative Cloud online services for nearly 24 hours. The Photoshop maker first tweeted that users were unable to login to their Adobe accounts at 2:22pm Pacific time on Wednesday, and the service was still offline as of 1pm on Thursday. …
Neil McAllister, 15 May 2014
Ciscoblood

Battered Cisco weathers another stormy quarter

Cisco CEO John Chambers said he was "pleased" with the company's performance for the third quarter of its fiscal 2014 – and it beat analysts' expectations yet again – but the networking titan's actual earnings were not much better than last quarter's gloomy results. Revenues for the three months ending on April 26 were $11.55bn …
Neil McAllister, 15 May 2014
Cat 5 cable

Comcast exec says wired broadband customers should pay-as-they-go

US broadband customers should expect to be charged wireless-style fees for their wired internet access in the next few years, an executive from US broadband mega-giant Comcast has revealed. "I would predict that in five years Comcast at least would have a usage-based billing model rolled out across its footprint," Comcast …
Neil McAllister, 14 May 2014
Windows Phone 8

Microsoft issues update for buggy WinPhone 8.1 mega-update

Microsoft has issued an update to the Developer Preview edition of Windows Phone 8.1, but so far it hasn't given much indication as to what has changed. The new release is available as an over-the-air update to customers who already have the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview installed. "This update includes several …
Neil McAllister, 14 May 2014
Canonical Orange Box

Canonical teams up with Tranquil PC to deliver Ubuntu cluster-in-a-box

Canonical is getting into the hardware business – albeit in a very limited way – to help customers who aren't ready to build out their own clusters start experimenting with private clouds based on Ubuntu and OpenStack. Announced at the OpenStack Summit in Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday, the Orange Box is a turnkey mobile cluster …
Neil McAllister, 14 May 2014

Oracle horns in on Red Hat's OpenStack party with own distro

Never one to be outdone by rival Red Hat, Oracle has unveiled its own distribution of the OpenStack cloud control freak on the same day that Shadowman opened its latest beta distribution to the public. Oracle's OpenStack distro is currently classified as a technology preview, and it installs over the latest version of Oracle …
Neil McAllister, 13 May 2014
BlackBerry logo

BlackBerry opens devices to third-party management – including its new, sub-$200 Z3

Ailing BlackBerry has launched its first new mobe since John Chen took over as CEO in November, and to help drum up interest in its flagging handset business, it says it will for the first time let customers use other companies' software to manage BlackBerry devices. Chen has repeatedly insisted that he won't dump BlackBerry's …
Neil McAllister, 13 May 2014

NO, Microsoft hasn't given up on .Net, and YES it's all about cloud

Developers who were worried that Microsoft was retreating from .Net can breathe easier, as the software giant had a host of .Net-related announcements to make at its annual TechEd North America conference this week. Recent Build developer conferences have been light on .Net content, between Microsoft pushing JavaScript and web …
Neil McAllister, 13 May 2014

Microsoft enlists Apache to help Windows devs build hybrid mobile apps

At its annual TechEd North America conference in Houston, Texas on Monday, Microsoft doubled down on its promise to help developers build cross-platform mobile apps by announcing preliminary support for creating HTML-based hybrid apps within Visual Studio. The preview tools have been given the lofty-sounding name "Multi-Device …
Neil McAllister, 12 May 2014
Windows 8.1 Update Start Screen

Microsoft blinks, extends Windows 8.1 Update deadline for consumers

In a move that should surprise no one, Microsoft has extended the deadline when consumers must install the Windows 8.1 Update to avoid being cut off from future security patches to June 10, giving them a 30-day reprieve. "While we believe the majority of people have received the update, we recognize that not all have," Microsoft …
Neil McAllister, 12 May 2014

Nintendo says sorry, but there will be NO gay marriage in Tomodachi Life ... EVER

Gaming heavyweight Nintendo says it's sorry to disappointed customers for not including same-sex relationships in its Tomodachi Life simulation game, but that it's too late to do anything about it. The Mario Bros. maker posted a public note of apology to its website on Friday saying it was "committed to advancing our longtime …
Neil McAllister, 10 May 2014
Slide from Oracle's 2012 case against Google using Java

Oracle vs Google redux: Appeals court says APIs CAN TOO be copyrighted

In a major victory for Oracle, a US Appeals Court has overturned an earlier ruling in the database giant's multibillion-dollar intellectual property lawsuit against Google, finding that Oracle's Java APIs are in fact covered by copyright. In its original suit, filed waayyyy back in 2010, Oracle argued that Google had swiped …
Neil McAllister, 09 May 2014
ZTE Open C

ZTE Open C, the Firefox OS mobe you'll almost want, now on eBay

Chinese mobe-maker ZTE has announced that the ZTE Open C, its latest phone running Mozilla's open source Firefox OS, is now available for sale worldwide via eBay. The new device, which was first unveiled at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow in February, is an upgraded version of the earlier ZTE Open, but while that device …
Neil McAllister, 09 May 2014

$3.2bn Apple deal would make hip-hop mogul Dr Dre a BEEELLLIONAIRE

Insiders claim that Apple is close to acquiring Beats Electronics, the headphones-and-streaming-music company founded by music mogul Jimmy Iovine and rapper Dr Dre, in what would be the largest purchase in Apple's history. Separate reports by Bloomberg and the Financial Times both value the proposed deal at $3.2bn. Previously, …
Neil McAllister, 08 May 2014

Comcast dragged into muck in Oracle's Solaris fix-it lawsuit

Comcast is caught in the crossfire in Oracle's ongoing lawsuit against Solaris fix-it companies Maintech and Terix, but the broadband giant is trying to stay out of it – illegally, Oracle claims. A filing [PDF] with the US District Court of the Southern District of New York last week reveals that Oracle subpoenaed Comcast last …
Neil McAllister, 08 May 2014

SEC to investors: When dealing in Bitcoin, don't get suckered

Investor.gov, the US Securities and Exchange Commission's investor education and advocacy website, has issued an alert warning investors of the potential pitfalls of investing in Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. "A new product, technology, or innovation – such as Bitcoin – has the potential to give rise both to frauds and …
Neil McAllister, 08 May 2014
wall_street

Whoops! Nvidia lets slip Q1 earnings early – and they're solid

An internal communications cockup forced Nvidia to release its first-quarter 2015 results two days early, surprising Wall Street with revenues and earnings that beat analysts' estimates. Nvidia had earlier announced that it would release this quarter's earnings report on Thursday, but when a preliminary draft of its results was …
Neil McAllister, 07 May 2014
Microsoft Surface tablets

Microsoft may launch several new Surfaces on May 20 – report

Microsoft's Surface launch event on May 20 may be a bigger deal than was previously thought, with multiple new models to be unveiled, a new report claims. Redmond hasn't said what it plans to announce at the media event, billed as a "small gathering" in New York. But most rumors point to a "Surface Mini" – some version of …
Neil McAllister, 07 May 2014

Investors eye Yahoo!'s future as China's Alibaba files for US IPO

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba filed paperwork with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday for its much-anticipated initial public offering, a move that could have dramatic implications for Yahoo! and other US businesses. Tuesday's SEC filing indicated that Alibaba is seeking to raise $1bn, but that's just a …
Neil McAllister, 07 May 2014
Photo of the Acer Chromebook C720 with 4th generation Intel Core i3 processor

Google buddies up with Intel for this year's big Chromebook push

Intel, Google, and several hardware partners held a press event in San Francisco on Tuesday to announce a fresh batch of devices based on Chrome OS, the launch of which Intel said made it "the No. 1 microprocessor in Chrome OS systems." In all, Chipzilla and pals demoed ten new devices that will be soon be released in the US, …
Neil McAllister, 06 May 2014
Traffic in Beijing during period of heavy pollution

US broadband providers holding last-mile traffic ransom, ISP alleges

Consumer broadband providers in the US are deliberately ignoring traffic congestion on their networks, resulting in dramatically degraded service to customers, one major ISP has claimed. The issue, according to a blog post by Level 3 Communications VP of content and media Mark Taylor, lies with the peering interconnects that …
Neil McAllister, 06 May 2014
Illustration of an atom

Atom, GitHub's code editor based on web tech, goes open source

Code-sharing site GitHub has announced that Atom, its highly customizable code editor, has left beta and its full source code is now available to world+dog under the MIT open source license. Why another text editor? In an interview, GitHub developer Nathan Sobo told The Reg that he and the other developers wanted a powerful …
Neil McAllister, 06 May 2014
Screenshot of Bill Gates appearing on Fox Business

Bill Gates: Sell off Bing? Nah. Xbox? Maybe...

Microsoft cofounder and board member Bill Gates says he's leery of unloading the company's historically loss-making Bing division, but he wouldn't necessarily be opposed to spinning off Xbox. Gates made the comments in an interview with Fox Business on Monday alongside mega-investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett. …
Neil McAllister, 05 May 2014
John McAfee

McAfee chap is back in crypto-wrap chat app back flap

Antivirus pioneer and one-time fugitive John McAfee has backed Chadder, a new instant-messaging app for smartphones that promises "the highest degree of security and privacy." The app is being marketed by Future Tense Central, a J.McAfee-owned company that claims to be headquartered in Silicon Valley, although McAfee himself was …
Neil McAllister, 05 May 2014
Steve Ballmer

Who's top Microsoft shareholder? Uh oh, it's STEVE BALLMER

When former Microsoft CEO and current board member Steve Ballmer said he was "very interested" in the company's future, he wasn't kidding. As of Wednesday, Ballmer became Redmond's largest individual shareholder, with a stake even greater than that of founder Bill Gates. The switcheroo wasn't because Ballmer acquired new shares …
Neil McAllister, 03 May 2014
Badger, badger, badger

Watch out, Yahoo! EFF looses BADGER on sites that ignore Do Not Track

In the wake of Yahoo!'s decision to stop honoring browsers' Do Not Track signals, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has released a new blacklisting tool that will automatically block tracking cookies from sites that refuse to support DNT. Dubbed Privacy Badger, the tool is available as a browser plugin for Chrome and Firefox …
Neil McAllister, 02 May 2014
Broken CD with wrench

Early! Do! Not! Track! Adopter! Yahoo! Says! It's! Rubbish, Bins! It!

Yahoo! has done an about-face on its stance toward the controversial Do Not Track browser privacy standard, announcing that it will no longer recognize users' DNT settings across any of its online properties. "As the first major tech company to implement Do Not Track, we’ve been at the heart of conversations surrounding how to …
Neil McAllister, 02 May 2014
Snapchat logo

Snapchat updates fap-snap sharing app ... now with more Chat

Self-destructing photo sharing service Snapchat has added real-time messaging and video chat to the latest versions of its mobile apps, in a move seemingly designed to make it more competitive with the likes of BBM and WhatsApp. Snapchat began life as a way for smartphone users to send each other saucy selfies that automatically …
Neil McAllister, 01 May 2014

Microsoft: You know we said NO MORE XP PATCHES? Well ...

Microsoft has released patches for the latest critical security vulnerability plaguing Internet Explorer, including for Windows XP – despite months of claiming that it would never release another patch for the outdated OS past April 8 of this year. According to a blog post by Microsoft's general manager of Trustworthy Computing …
Neil McAllister, 01 May 2014
Dragon 32 boot into Basic

10 PRINT "Happy 50th Birthday, BASIC" : GOTO 10

Wanna feel old? Thursday marks the fiftieth anniversary of the invention of BASIC, the programming language that took the computing world by storm during the PC revolution of the mid-1970s and 1980s. A version of BASIC shipped with practically every home computer of the era, but the language actually dates back to 1964, when …
Neil McAllister, 01 May 2014
Chain

Facebook-backed spec lets apps link to other apps on mobes

Facebook and a handful of partners have lent their support to App Links, a new, cross-platform, open source system for linking content from mobile apps directly to other mobile apps. Deep linking is easy on the desktop, because every link is handled by the browser. But on mobile platforms, people often prefer to use platform- …
Neil McAllister, 30 Apr 2014
Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook UNVEILS VEIL for 'anonymous' logins

If you've ever been hesitant to login to an app or website using your Facebook ID because you don't know what consequences clicking that blue button will actually have, Mark Zuckerberg says he feels your pain. Speaking at the Facebook F8 developer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday – the first such event the social network …
Neil McAllister, 30 Apr 2014
cloud

Oracle melds its 'cloud OS' with OpenStack in Solaris 11.2 release

Former Unix server customers are continuing the march toward Linux and for many there's no looking back, but that hasn't stopped Oracle from continuing development of Solaris Unix – albeit slowly. On Tuesday, the database giant staged an event in New York to announce Solaris 11.2, which is only the second point release of the …
Neil McAllister, 30 Apr 2014
TwitterIPO

Twitter investors squawk as user growth, income disappoint again

Twitter reported first-quarter revenue growth of 119 per cent over the year-ago period, but profitability continues to elude the microblogging network and it still isn't gaining new users as fast as investors would like. Revenues for three months ending on March 31 were $250.49m, more than double what they were for the same …
Neil McAllister, 29 Apr 2014

Firefox, is that you? Version 29 looks rather like a certain shiny rival

Firefox 29 has left beta to become the latest stable release for desktop PCs and Android devices. The new version sports a long-promised user interface overhaul, new customization options, and an improved data sync feature. In a blog post on her personal site on Monday, Mozilla senior user experience designer Jennifer Morrow …
Neil McAllister, 29 Apr 2014

After Comcast, Netflix inks second net traffic deal with Verizon

Netflix may not like the idea of paying extra to keep its streaming video content running smoothly but seems resigned to it, having now signed its second network peering deal with a major US broadband provider since the beginning of the year. "We have reached an interconnect arrangement with Verizon that we hope will improve …
Neil McAllister, 29 Apr 2014

Microsoft puffs up OneDrive, now with 1TB per head for biz users

Microsoft has upped its ante in the ongoing cloud wars, increasing storage allotments for business customers and offering to help companies migrate from their existing storage solutions to OneDrive. OneDrive for Business subscribers will soon be granted 1TB of storage per user, up from the more modest 25GB per user that …
Neil McAllister, 28 Apr 2014

Über-secure Blackphone crypto-mobe spills its silicon guts

SGP Technologies, the Switzerland-based joint venture of Spanish handset maker Geeksphone and security firm Silent Circle, has revealed specs for the Blackphone BP1, its forthcoming privacy-minded handset. The locked-down mobe will be powered by the Nvidia Tegra 4i, making it one of the first devices to ship based on that system …
Neil McAllister, 28 Apr 2014
Photo of Satya Nadella and Stephen Elop

That's right, MICROSOFT is an ANDROID vendor after Nokia gobble

Nokia won't be changing its strategy now that it's been gobbled up by Microsoft, its former CEO Stephen Elop has said. Elop, who has returned to Redmond after almost a four-year absence to head up the software giant's new Devices Group, said in a blog post on Friday that we'll continue to see the same mix of Nokia-branded …
Neil McAllister, 26 Apr 2014
Tesla Model S

FTC: State laws blocking Tesla's direct sales are 'protectionist'

Tesla Motors has gained an influential ally in its battle to sell its electric cars direct to consumers: the US Federal Trade Commission. Tesla's business model of selling its cars via its website and company-owned showrooms has come under fire in multiple US states – including Arizona, Texas, and New Jersey – where current laws …
Neil McAllister, 25 Apr 2014