Feeds

Neil McAllister

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed
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

Snowden shoots back: 'So you DO have my emails, after all'

Edward Snowden says the US National Security Agency is lying when it says it has no record of his emails to supervisors raising concerns about NSA surveillance programs, and that the release of one of his emails on Thursday proves it. The NSA has long maintained that Snowden never voiced his concerns through proper channels …
Neil McAllister, 30 May 2014
Sorry we're closed

USA! USA! ... Aw, screw it. Motorola to close Texas smartphone plant

Motorola Mobility's adventure in stateside manufacturing is coming to an end, with the Google subsidiary announcing that it plans to close its Fort Worth, Texas factory less than a year after launching its vaunted Moto X smartphone. The plant opened in May 2013 specifically to assemble the Moto X for US customers, but The Wall …
Neil McAllister, 30 May 2014

Ballmer SLAM-DUNKS $2 BEEELLLION bid for LA Clippers

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer might not be in the software business anymore, but he has reportedly still found a way to one-up longtime rival Larry Ellison: by outbidding the Oracle tycoon for a major US sports franchise in the form of the LA Clippers. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Ballmer has won a brief …
Neil McAllister, 30 May 2014

'Hello? Hello? Yes, I'm calling you on my WEB BROWSER'

Mozilla says it will soon begin experimenting with a new streaming video communications system that users can access using only their web browsers. "And that's all you will need," Mozilla's Chad Weiner said in a blog post on Thursday. "No plug-ins, no downloads. If you have a browser, a camera and a mic, you'll be able to make …
Neil McAllister, 29 May 2014
Edward Snowden

Snowden never blew a whistle, US spy boss claims

NSA leaker Edward Snowden says he repeatedly raised concerns with his superiors and with oversight groups that the scope of the NSA's domestic surveillance programs was too broad, but the government claims that isn't the case. In an interview with NBC's Brian Williams on Wednesday – the first time Snowden has appeared on US …
Neil McAllister, 29 May 2014
Steam engine

Valve says no Steam Machines until 2015, fingers crossed

Video-game kingpin Valve has announced that its Steam Machine console hardware will likely be delayed by as much as a year, owing to ongoing development of the device's ambitious controller. In a blog post on Tuesday, Valve developer Eric Hope said that a private beta program using prototype versions of the wireless controller …
Neil McAllister, 29 May 2014
IE8 patch

New dashboard gives eagle's-eye view of Microsoft's security flaws

Microsoft has launched a new dashboard service designed to make it easier for systems admins to view the latest security bulletins for a range of Microsoft software. The idea behind the service, called myBulletins, is to allow admins to subscribe to security bulletins for only those products that are in use in their environments …
Neil McAllister, 29 May 2014
orange hacked.jpg

TrueCrypt considered HARMFUL – downloads, website meddled to warn: 'It's not secure'

The website of popular drive-encryption software TrueCrypt has been ripped up and replaced with a stark warning to not use the crypto-tool. It's also distributing a new version of the software, 7.2, which appears to have been compromised. It's feared the project, run by a highly secretive team of anonymous developers, has been …
Neil McAllister, 28 May 2014
Firefox OS RHS teaser

Mozilla launches Flame reference handset for Firefox OS

Mozilla has begun taking preorders for the Firefox OS Flame, a new developer handset that's a reference design for what the not-for-profit browser maker calls "mid-tier hardware" for its open source mobile OS. "Until now, there has been no 'reference device' and the options for getting something through retail were limited," …
Neil McAllister, 27 May 2014

Google clamps down on rogue Chrome plugins and extensions

Google is tightening security on its Chrome web browser by making it harder to install plugins and extensions that could contain malicious code. The web ad-slinger said in a blog post on Tuesday that it has begun strictly enforcing a policy, first announced in November, that Chrome extensions can only be installed from Google's …
Neil McAllister, 27 May 2014

Intel cutting prices, taking on all comers in fondleslab market grab

Intel is so desperate to gain a foothold in the fondleslab market that it's willing to slash its margins in exchange for market share, supply-chain sources claim. Industry insiders have told Taiwanese tech-news rag DigiTimes that Chipzilla has been cutting prices and offering marketing subsidies to tablet vendors willing to …
Neil McAllister, 24 May 2014

Bing's the thing in Microsoft's push for cheap Windows devices

Microsoft and its hardware partners are gearing up to push out a new wave of low-cost Windows devices, thanks to a new edition of Windows 8.1 that will be available to OEMs at a lower cost – or even for free. Redmond marketer Brandon LeBlanc announced the new version, dubbed "Windows 8.1 with Bing," in a blog post on Friday. But …
Neil McAllister, 23 May 2014
FBI badge and gun

Microsoft swats away FBI request for Office 365 subscriber data

Microsoft has successfully challenged a secret letter from the Federal Bureau of Investigation ordering it to turn over data from one of its Office 365 customers, court documents made public on Thursday have revealed. The documents, which remained secret until they were unsealed by the US District Court in Seattle on Wednesday, …
Neil McAllister, 23 May 2014
Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the tarmac in United livery

Boeing CEO says no more 'moonshots' after 787 Dreamliner ordeal

After weathering a decade of delays, cost overruns, and technical difficulties with its latest high-tech aircraft, Boeing CEO James McNerney says the company isn't planning any more ambitious gambles like the 787 Dreamliner, but will instead focus on cutting costs and increasing production. According to a report by the Seattle …
Neil McAllister, 22 May 2014

Google Fiber says it's happy to let Netflix onto its 'fast lane' for free

In a clear knock on recent shenanigans by US broadband providers, the Chocolate Factory's Google Fiber division has said it doesn't charge extra for an internet "fast lane," and streaming-video companies are even free to host their servers in Google Fiber's own data centers. "We ... partner with content providers (like YouTube, …
Neil McAllister, 22 May 2014

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