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Neil McAllister

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ANYONE on Google+ can now email you, with or without your Gmail addy

Your wishes have been granted: Google has quietly added a new "feature" to Gmail that allows anyone with a Google+ account to send you email even if they don't know your actual webmail address. Over the next few days, Gmail users with Google+ accounts will start seeing names from their Google+ circles suggested as potential …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jan 2014
Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight

Didn't get a Nook for Xmas? That's OK, hardly anyone else did, either

The fortunes of Barnes & Noble's Nook division have gone from bad to worse, with the ebook group reporting plummeting revenues over the holiday period. The bookseller said on Thursday that the Nook unit's sales for the nine weeks ending December 28 were down 60.5 per cent from the same period a year ago. Newly minted Barnes & …
Neil McAllister, 09 Jan 2014
BlackBerry Curve 8520

BlackBerry CEO: I LOVE keyboards, so if you want them, you'll get them

According to BlackBerry interim CEO John Chen*, the hardscrabble smartphone maker's next wave of products will return to tried-and-true form factors, complete with the company's hallmark hardware keyboards. BlackBerry launched its all-touchscreen Z10 handset to much fanfare under previous CEO Thorsten Heins last January. But …
Neil McAllister, 08 Jan 2014
Steam engine

No sign of Half-Life 3 but how about FOURTEEN Steam Machine makers?

Valve has used the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to reveal more than a dozen hardware partners that have signed on to build gaming consoles based on its SteamOS gaming platform. The companies that will market the first generation of Steam Machines include Alienware, Alternate, CyberPowerPC, Digital Storm, …
Neil McAllister, 08 Jan 2014
The Pirate Bay logo

Block The Pirate Bay? Arrr, me hearties, new P2P client could sink that plan

Infamous file-sharing-network search engine The Pirate Bay is at work on new software that's designed to help it evade state-imposed internet censorship, sources claim. According to an article on file-sharing blog TorrentFreak, the notorious torrent-mongers are developing a client that will create a distributed, peer-to-peer …
Neil McAllister, 08 Jan 2014
Red Hat Shadowman logo

Red Hat teams up with community-based RHEL lookalike CentOS

Enterprise Linux vendor Red Hat has announced a new partnership with the CentOS Project aimed at developing new versions of the community-developed CentOS Linux distribution that take advantage of the latest open-source technologies. "Today is an exciting day for the open-source community," Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens said in a …
Neil McAllister, 08 Jan 2014
Linksys WRT1900AC router

Linksys's über-hackable WRT wireless router REBORN with 802.11ac

Networking gear maker Linksys has resurrected one of its most popular, customizable routers – the WRT54G – with a new version that takes advantage of the latest wireless technologies. The Belkin subsidiary revealed the new device, a spruced-up Wi-Fi router based on its venerable WRT54G design, at the Consumer Electronics Show ( …
Neil McAllister, 07 Jan 2014
LG Smart TV

LG to bring Palm's webOS BACK FROM THE DEAD in TVs next week – report

South Korean electronics giant LG plans to debut its first smart TV based on the webOS operating system next week, industry insiders claim. Citing an unnamed source, the Wall Street Journal reports that the webOS-powered boob tube will be unveiled at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, due to run from January …
Neil McAllister, 30 Dec 2013
John Chen

BlackBerry CEO John Chen: Y'know what, we'll go back to enterprise stuff

Interim BlackBerry CEO John Chen says critics should quit dwelling on the snakebit smartphone vendor's past missteps and look instead to what the company plans to do tomorrow. In an editorial published by CNBC on Monday, Chen said that he has crafted a new strategy for the Canadian firm that leaves it "well-positioned for the …
Neil McAllister, 30 Dec 2013

JAILBREAK! US smut spam king Kilbride flees minimum security prison

A manhunt is underway in California following the escape of convicted porn spammer Jeffrey Kilbride from a minimum security prison camp within the Lompoc Federal Correction Complex. Kilbride and his associate James Schaffer were jailed in 2007 on a variety of charges related to their long-running email business, including fraud …
Neil McAllister, 29 Dec 2013
gavel_judgment_channel

Former HTC staffers charged with fraud, leaking company secrets

Five former HTC employees, including one former executive, have been charged in a Taiwanese court with leaking corporate secrets, accepting illegal kickbacks, and falsifying expenses. According to the Wall Street Journal, Thomas Chien, formerly VP of product design at HTC, has been charged with leaking details of a future …
Neil McAllister, 28 Dec 2013

HTC: Shipping Android updates is harder than you think – here's why

If you're wondering why your HTC smartphone hasn't been updated with the latest version of Android yet, the struggling smartphone vendor wants you to know it's not its fault – at least, not entirely. While Apple likes to brag about how quickly its iPhone and iPad devices receive updates to the latest iOS version, Android devices …
Neil McAllister, 27 Dec 2013

Apple wants sales ban on Samsung smartphones nobody is selling

Flush from recent courtroom victories, Apple is once again requesting a ban on sales of more than 20 Samsung smartphones in the US – even though none of the products in question are being sold anymore. Bloomberg reports that Cupertino has filed a new motion in the US District Court of San Jose, California, asking it to block …
Neil McAllister, 27 Dec 2013

Google BLASTS BACK at Apple, Microsoft, Sony in Android patent WAR

Google has struck back at a patent-wielding consortium composed of industry heavy-hitters with a lawsuit seeking a judgment that neither Google nor any of its Android partners infringes on the group's patents. The move is the latest chapter in a saga that dates back to 2011, when Apple, BlackBerry, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, and …
Neil McAllister, 26 Dec 2013
Dogecoin

Joke no more: Comedy virty currency Dogecoin gets real in big Xmas heist

If you've heard of Dogecoin, maybe you thought it was a joke. A cryptocurrency based on what has been called the meme of the year for 2013, it certainly has all the earmarks of an internet prank. But some people are apparently taking Dogecoin seriously – seriously enough, at least, to steal millions of them from online wallets. …
Neil McAllister, 26 Dec 2013
Ross Ulbricht

Ross Ulbricht: 'Oi! Give me back my $34m in Silk Road Bitcoin booty'

After his arrest in October, 29-year-old Ross Ulbricht maintains that he is not the Dread Pirate Roberts, mastermind of the online drugs marketplace Silk Road. But he also says the Bitcoins the authorities seized from Silk Road belong to him, and the government should give them back. Since shutting down the secretive online shop …
Neil McAllister, 24 Dec 2013
BlackBerry logo

Party's over in Waterloo as BlackBerry pulls plug on 2014 Live conference

BlackBerry-friendly IT managers and developers will feel a little lonelier next year, now that the Waterloo, Ontario–based firm has announced there will be no 2014 BlackBerry Live conference. Official BlackBerry blogger Donny Halliwell revealed the company's plans on Friday, saying BlackBerry had decided that putting on a big …
Neil McAllister, 24 Dec 2013
Close-up of a woman's lips, slightly pixelated as if on a CRT TV

Self-destructing selfies? Not so fast! Snapchat now offers one-time Replay

Stealthy selfie service Snapchat has added a new feature to its mobile apps that makes it possible for users to hang onto messages for longer than the senders may have intended. Dubbed "Replay," the feature added to Snapchat 6.1.0 for Android and iOS allows users to view a Snapchat message, image, or video a second time before …
Neil McAllister, 23 Dec 2013

How much did NSA pay to put a backdoor in RSA crypto? Try $10m – report

The mystery of why RSA would use a flawed, NSA-championed algorithm as the default random number generator for several of its encryption products appears to be solved, and the answer is utterly banal, if true: the NSA paid it to. Reuters reports that RSA received $10m from the NSA in exchange for making the agency-backed Dual …
Neil McAllister, 21 Dec 2013
Smartphones

DisARMed: Geeksphone's next high-end mobe to pack Intel x86 inside

Spanish startup Geeksphone has announced that its next smartphone model will be its first to be powered by an Intel mobile processor. The upcoming Geeksphone Revolution, which the company has been teasing since November, will be based on an Intel Atom Z2560, part of Chipzilla's "Clover Trail+" line, Geeksphone said in an …
Neil McAllister, 20 Dec 2013

Silk Road 2.0 busted! At least two arrests as federal crackdown begins

If drugs traffickers thought the anonymous online black market calling itself Silk Road 2.0 would be any safer from law enforcement than the original, it looks like they had better think again. According to reports by Forbes and TechCrunch, the FBI have made "multiple arrests" of people believed to be involved with Silk Road 2.0 …
Neil McAllister, 20 Dec 2013

Mozilla: Native code? No, it's JavaScript, only it's BLAZING FAST

The Mozilla Foundation says it has reached an important milestone in the quest to improve JavaScript performance, with some JavaScript benchmarks now running only around 1.5 times slower than when the equivalent algorithms are compiled and executed as native binary code. "That's a big improvement from earlier this year, when as …
Neil McAllister, 20 Dec 2013
Red Hat Shadowman logo

Red Hat's pockets bulging on strong Linux, JBoss sales

Enterprise Linux vendor Red Hat posted strong financial results for the third quarter of its fiscal 2014 on Thursday, with earnings that beat both analysts' estimates and the company's own earlier guidance. Revenues for the quarter ending on November 30 were $397m, up 15 per cent from the same period a year ago. In the …
Neil McAllister, 20 Dec 2013

Proposed California law demands anti-theft 'kill switch' in all smartphones

California may soon become the first US state to require mobile phone makers to include a feature that can remotely disable their handsets in the event they are stolen. A new law proposed by California state Senator Mark Leno and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón would require all smartphones sold in the state to …
Neil McAllister, 19 Dec 2013

NSA spies should clean up their act, says Prez Obama-picked panel

An independent review board has recommended that the US federal government continue its myriad foreign and domestic surveillance programs, but only if it makes significant changes to protect individual privacy. The Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies was convened by President Obama in August in the wake …
Neil McAllister, 19 Dec 2013
LG Chromebase

Wait, that's no moon 21.5-inch monitor, it's an all-in-one LG Chromebase PC

Chromebooks have been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise down PC market this year. Now LG is hoping that the success Google has had with its "browser in a box" laptops can carry over to the desktop, as well. Desktop PCs running Chrome OS have been available previously in the form of Chromeboxes, devices about the size …
Neil McAllister, 18 Dec 2013
Photo of the Starship Enterprise's sick bay

Relax, Obama! Former Microsoft exec tapped to save sick healthcare.gov

The Obama administration has apointed a former Microsoft executive to be the new head of its troubled Healthcare.gov website. On Tuesday, US Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said that Kurt DelBene, who most recently served as president of the Microsoft Office division, would become the new manager of the …
Neil McAllister, 18 Dec 2013
HP Chromebook 11

ALERT! Fling that FIERY HP Chromebook 11 charger back at Google

HP and Google have issued a formal recall for the defective micro-USB charger cables that have given some HP Chromebook 11 owners a nasty surprise by melting or bursting into flames during use. "If you purchased your HP Chromebook 11 on or before December 1, 2013 and you have not received a replacement charger," Google wrote in …
Neil McAllister, 17 Dec 2013
Steve Ballmer replacement search

Microsoft admits: We WON'T pick the next Steve Ballmer this year

Microsoft's board of directors will need more time to choose a successor for outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer, the company said on Tuesday. The board has been on the hunt for a new chief exec ever since Ballmer announced his plan to retire "within the next 12 months" in August, and it now looks as though the search will continue into …
Neil McAllister, 17 Dec 2013
Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code

Microsoft now using next-gen Roslyn C#, Visual Basic compilers in house

After more than a year of silence on the subject, Microsoft's Managed Languages team is once again talking about Roslyn, the radically redesigned version of its C# and Visual Basic compilers. We first heard about Roslyn – described as Redmond's "compiler as a service" project – way back at the Build developer conference in 2011 …
Neil McAllister, 17 Dec 2013

Google's Dart on target to replace JavaScript? That'll be the day

Last week, Google announced that the international standards body Ecma had formed a new technical committee devoted to Dart, the Chocolate Factory's homegrown web browser scripting language. But don't expect Dart to replace JavaScript as the web's lingua franca anytime soon. "The new standardization process is an important step …
Neil McAllister, 16 Dec 2013
Angry woman on mobile

US mobile telcos: All right, ALL RIGHT, FCC! We'll redo phone unlock rules

The five largest US wireless carriers say they are all onboard with new policies designed to make it easier for customers to use their mobile devices on the network of their choice. "We are pleased to announce AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless agreed to adopt a voluntary set of six principles for …
Neil McAllister, 13 Dec 2013
Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer and CFO Ken Goldman

Massive! Yahoo! Mail! outage! going! on! FOURTH! straight! day!

Yahoo! Mail is only now recovering from a massive outage that has delayed mail delivery and locked some users out of their accounts for the past several days. "We can confirm that 97 per cent of affected users have access to their Mail accounts on web, POP and the Yahoo Mail iOS, Android and Windows 8 apps," the company wrote in …
Neil McAllister, 12 Dec 2013
gavel_judgment_channel

Bloke, 27, cuffed, charged over stolen selfie smut site UGotPosted

A 27-year-old California man has been arrested on multiple felony charges for his alleged involvement with running a so-called revenge porn website. In October, California became the first US state to pass a bill specifically outlawing the practice of posting nude photos of people without their permission. But the language of …
Neil McAllister, 12 Dec 2013

Just when you were considering Red Hat Linux 6.5, here comes 7

Mere weeks after shipping the final version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.5, Shadowman has announced the first public beta of RHEL 7. "Simply put, we believe Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 represents the future of IT," the company said in a press release. No, really. Describing the new version as its "most ambitious release …
Neil McAllister, 11 Dec 2013
Google_skull

Google puts kibosh on Hong Kong data center plan, says it's too costly

Google has confirmed that it has abandoned plans to build a new data center in Hong Kong, citing the cost and difficulty of acquiring land for the facility. Taj Meadows, a Google communications manager for the Asia-Pacific region, confirmed to the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that the Hong Kong effort, which it first announced …
Neil McAllister, 10 Dec 2013
Artist's image of asteroids and Mars

Mars One's Red Planet foray is still on – but not until 2018

Mars One, the not-for-profit foundation dedicated to establishing a human colony on Mars, won't be able to launch its first mission to the Red Planet until later than originally planned. In an announcement issued on Tuesday, the group said it now expects to send an unmanned mission to Mars in 2018, rather than in 2016 as it had …
Neil McAllister, 10 Dec 2013

Exploits no more! Firefox 26 blocks all Java plugins by default

The latest release of the Firefox web browser, version 26, now blocks Java software on all websites by default unless the user specifically authorizes the Java plugin to run. The change has been a long time coming. The Mozilla Foundation had originally planned to make click-to-run the default for all versions of the Java plugin …
Neil McAllister, 10 Dec 2013

Google embiggens its fat vid pipe Chromecast with TEN new supported apps

Google has announced that ten more media apps now include support for its Chromecast streaming media device. When the Chromecast TV dongle debuted in July, it came with a low $35 price tag but not much functionality: its streaming capabilities were limited to Netflix, YouTube and Google Play, and it had experimental support for …
Neil McAllister, 10 Dec 2013
Cloud security

CyanogenMod Android firmware gains built-in SMS encryption

Users of the CyanogenMod alternative Android firmware gained additional security on Monday, thanks to the integration of Open WhisperSystems' TextSecure protocol. Founded by security researchers Moxie Marlinspike and Stuart Anderson, Open WhisperSystems develops security software that can encrypt voice-over-IP (VoIP) telephone …
Neil McAllister, 10 Dec 2013
Windows 8 new start screen

It's true, the START MENU is coming BACK to Windows 8, hiss sources

Microsoft's forthcoming wave of Windows updates will streamline the OS and will even see the return of the much-missed Start menu, according to new reports. Rumors that Redmond is planning a new round of updates to the various forms of its OS first surfaced last week, with ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley reporting that Microsoft will …
Neil McAllister, 09 Dec 2013
Toilet

Developer unleashes bowel-shaking KILLER APP for Google Glass

If the success of any mobile device platform depends on the quality of the apps available for it, then Google Glass developer Hung Truong has just brought Google's high-tech headsets one step closer to being on par with devices from mobile heavyweights like Apple and Samsung. A recent convert to Glass and Android app development …
Neil McAllister, 07 Dec 2013

Russia charges 'criminal organization' behind Blackhole malware kit

The Russian government has charged a group of people with organized crime offenses related to the creation and use of the Blackhole malware kit. Word first leaked out via Europol in October that a man going by the alias "Paunch", who was suspected of being the creator of the infamous crimeware tool, had been arrested in Russia …
Neil McAllister, 06 Dec 2013
RoboCop

EC antitrust cops raid offices of Philips, Samsung, others

EU antitrust regulators have raided the European offices of Philips, Samsung, retail group Media-Saturn, and several other consumer electronics companies, but so far they're not saying what they were looking for. "The European Commission can confirm that on 3 December 2013, Commission officials initiated unannounced inspections …
Neil McAllister, 06 Dec 2013

Internet Explorer 11 at it again, breaks Microsoft's own CRM software

Compatibility problems continue to plague Internet Explorer 11, with some Microsoft customers once again complaining that the company's latest browser doesn't work with one of its own products. Users first raised red flags about IE11 in October, when reports surfaced that the browser was rendering a number of sites strangely, …
Neil McAllister, 06 Dec 2013
Photo of Google Glass version 2

Want to code for Google Glass in C#? Xamarin's got you covered

Cross-platform development tools vendor Xamarin has rolled out new components that allow coders to use its products to build apps for Google Glass. Xamarin, which was founded by Mono project creators Miguel de Icaza and Nat Friedman, offers tools based on the open source .Net clone that allow developers to more easily build apps …
Neil McAllister, 05 Dec 2013

Send in the clones: Oracle, CentOS catch up to Red Hat Linux 6.5

Now that Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.5 has shipped, here come the derivatives, with both Oracle and CentOS releasing new versions of their respective Red Hat–alike Linux distros. Red Hat released RHEL 6.5 in late November as a minor update to its industry-leading enterprise Linux platform. Among its new features are …
Neil McAllister, 05 Dec 2013

Icahn rallies the troops to pump Apple for cash at next shareholder meeting

Wall Street tycoon Carl Icahn hasn't given up on his quest to have Apple return some of its $150bn cash stockpile to investors, and he now wants Cupertino's shareholders to vote on the idea. Icahn has spent the last few months pestering Apple CEO Tim Cook to spend the company's cash reserves on a stock buyback program that would …
Neil McAllister, 04 Dec 2013
Steve Ballmer and Stephen Elop

European Commission gives Microsoft/Nokia merger the green light

The European Commission has approved the merger between Microsoft and Nokia, clearing the way for Redmond to take over the Finnish firm's smartphone business. The Commission published its findings in a press release on Wednesday, saying that it did not believe Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia raised any concerns under EU …
Neil McAllister, 04 Dec 2013

Accused Glasshole driver says specs weren't even turned on for traffic stop

A California woman who was stopped by police for driving while wearing Google Glass has pleaded not guilty to charges of speeding and distracted driving. Early Glass adopter Cecilia Abadie of Temecula, California was issued a traffic citation in October under a clause in the state's vehicle code that forbids operating a motor …
Neil McAllister, 04 Dec 2013