Neil McAllister

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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
Megaphone

Kim Dotcom vows to KILL SKYPE with encrypted MegaChat

Megaupload maestro Kim Dotcom says he will soon unveil an encrypted video calling and chat service that he claims will mark "the end of NSA mass surveillance." In a series of tweets, Dotcom said the service, to be called MegaChat, will also doom Skype, the current king of online calling, which is thought to have been cooperating …
Neil McAllister, 30 Dec 2014
Web browsers

Internet Explorer 12 to shed legacy cruft in bid to BEAT Chrome

Microsoft has been working on a new scheme to strip away some of the legacy bloat that has burdened its Internet Explorer web browser, sources claimed. According to the prolific Redmond rumormongers at Neowin, the software giant has forked the code for IE's Trident rendering engine into a new, leaner version that should consume …
Neil McAllister, 29 Dec 2014

Sony releases Nork flick The Interview straight to DVD (digital video download)

In a shining example of how high culture* will always defeat the jackboot tactics of oppressive states like North Korea, the Seth Rogen/James Franco film The Interview is now available for viewing via multiple online streaming services. Google and Microsoft both announced that the flick – which surely cannot be any more farcical …
Neil McAllister, 24 Dec 2014
Samsung UE55ES8000 Series 8 SMART LED TV

Wanna play PlayStation games but don't have a console? Samsung's got a TV for that

Buyers of select Samsung Smart TVs in the first half of 2015 will be able to play Sony PlayStation games without buying a separate console. The TVs will ship with an app that can access Sony's PlayStation Now game streaming service, which offers a library of more than 200 PlayStation 3 titles that can be played over the internet …
Neil McAllister, 24 Dec 2014
Kim Dotcom at the NZ parliamentary hearing

New Zealand Supreme Court says Kim Dotcom search warrants were legal

File-sharing kingpin and self-described pauper Kim Dotcom will need to cough up another NZ$35,000 ($26,900) after losing the latest round of his long-running legal battle before the country's Supreme Court. The sum will go to cover the New Zealand government's costs to defend warrants that were issued for searches of properties …
Neil McAllister, 23 Dec 2014

Apple and Microsoft backed Rockstar flogs zombie Nortel patents for $900m

Rockstar Consortium, the trolling outfit that snapped up the patent portfolio of bankrupt telecoms firm Nortel, has agreed to sell the bulk of that technology to a company that claims to be dedicated to reducing patent litigation. RPX Clearinghouse will buy the 4,000 zombie Nortel patents from the consortium for $900m, Reuters …
Neil McAllister, 23 Dec 2014
KDDI's Fx0 handset running Firefox OS

Japan to get blinged-out Firefox OS phone draped in GOLD

KDDI will be the first Japanese mobile carrier to bring Firefox OS to Japan – but its first Firefox OS phone will arrive at an unusual price point for Mozilla's open-source OS: 50,000 yen, or around $415. While most Firefox OS partners have been shipping devices with humble specs at rock-bottom prices, KDDI's entry, dubbed the …
Neil McAllister, 23 Dec 2014
putin topless

Facebook slammed for blocking protest event page at Russia's request

Russian political dissidents voiced their displeasure with Facebook on Monday after the social network blocked an event page promoting a demonstration on behalf of jailed opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. The page in question was reportedly blocked at the request of Roskomnadzor, Russia's state internet policing body. "We were …
Neil McAllister, 23 Dec 2014
Samsung's Jong-Deok Choi

Stop Xiaomi, oh stop Xiaomi: Samsung to debut Tizen mobe in India in January

Hope springs eternal for Samsung and its Linux-based Tizen OS, which reportedly will find its way onto a smartphone early next year, despite repeated delays. According to the Korea Economic Daily, Sammy will release its first Tizen handset – dubbed the Samsung Z1 – in India on January 18, 2015 at a price of "less than 100,000 …
Neil McAllister, 23 Dec 2014
Jeff Bezos shows off the Amazon Fire Phone

If at first you don't succeed ... Fire, FIRE again: Amazon mulls smartphone sequel

Amazon hasn't learned its lesson from the thundering belly flop of its Fire Phone, and according to some accounts it's apparently beavering away at a second version. The giant retailer launched the Fire Phone in June to much fanfare after a hush-hush development cycle. But despite the handset's novel "3D" display and baked-in …
Neil McAllister, 20 Dec 2014
Batteries

Super Cali's futuristic Tesla batt swap focus – even though car tech test is an expected bonus

Tesla Motors has a Christmas present for a few owners of its Model S all-electric cars, in the form of a pilot program for its new battery-swapping technology beginning in California next week. Tesla founder Elon Musk showed off the tech at an event last year, where he demoed how a drained Model S battery could be replaced with …
Neil McAllister, 19 Dec 2014
BlackBerry

BlackBerry CEO Chen says to expect profits ... in 2016

In a conference call with financial analysts on Friday, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the firm kept costs under control and even eked out a meager profit in the third quarter of its fiscal 2015, but he couldn't hide that the ailing mobe-maker's revenues continued their steady decline. BlackBerry brought in revenues of $793m for …
Neil McAllister, 19 Dec 2014
Android for cars

Forget Google's robot cars, now it's on to ANDROID cars

Google is planning a big push into in-car infotainment systems with an upcoming version of Android, sources claim. "Android M" – the version to come after the current Android 5.0 "Lollipop" – will be available in a formulation designed specifically to run cars' built-in screens, Reuters reports, citing anonymous insiders with …
Neil McAllister, 19 Dec 2014
Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Red Hat CFO reaches for eject cord after Street-beating performance

Red Hat chief financial officer Charlie Peters announced on Wednesday that he's stepping down from the company, even as it reported another quarter of strong earnings that beat even its own guidance. The Linux kingpin reported $455.9m in total revenues for the third quarter of its fiscal 2015, which outperformed Wall Street's …
Neil McAllister, 19 Dec 2014
management regulation1

Android gives Google a search monopoly? Not so fast, says judge

A US District Court judge has cast doubt on an antitrust lawsuit filed against Google, describing the damages sought as "speculative." The class-action suit filed earlier this year alleges that Google engages in illegal anti-competitive behavior by requiring makers of Android smartphones to bundle its search app on their devices …
Neil McAllister, 18 Dec 2014

Oracle, the King of Cloud? Maybe in Ellison's world

Analysis Oracle's executive team spent most of its second-quarter earnings conference call on Wednesday talking about its cloud business – which made sense, since that was the only part of the business that showed significant growth. As in last quarter's call, the trio of Safra Catz, Larry Ellison, and Mark Hurd chirped away about the …
Neil McAllister, 18 Dec 2014
Mark Hurd and Safra Catz

Hurd'n'Catz leading Oracle to the cloud, but core biz still lags

Oracle beat analysts' estimates for once for the second quarter of its fiscal 2015, with an earnings report that otherwise showed only modest results. The database giant's total revenues of $9.6bn for the three months that ended on November 30 were better than expected, but still only amounted to 3.5 per cent year-on-year growth …
Neil McAllister, 18 Dec 2014
Crystal ball via http://www.manoftaste.de/

Microsoft says to expect AWESOME things of Windows 10 in January

Microsoft says Windows Insider program members shouldn't be upset that no more Windows 10 Preview builds are coming this year, because the build that's expected to arrive in late January will be awesome – literally. According to a blog post by Microsoft engineering manager Gabe Aul, Redmond devs are so excited about that …
Neil McAllister, 17 Dec 2014
Funnel of cash. Credit: via SXC – http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Leonardini

FCC to smack Sprint with $105m fine over 'cramming' – report

US mobile carrier Sprint should expect a hefty fine from the Federal Communications Commission for overbilling its customers, say sources with knowledge of the agency's plans. As first reported by the National Review, the FCC is preparing to vote on action to be taken against Sprint over its role in "cramming" – the practice of …
Neil McAllister, 17 Dec 2014