Shaun Nichols

Contact Mail Follow RSS feed
Beavis and Butt-Head

Authorities go hard on coffee maker for stiff Viagra-powered brew

How's this for a stiff one to start the day? We now go live to America, where watchdogs have recalled a batch of coffee for containing an active ingredient very similar to Viagra. The US Food and Drug Administration says the mysterious boner-brew originated from BestHerbs Coffee LLC, and was labeled as "New of Kopi Jantan …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2017
Ajit Pai

So, FCC, how about that massive DDoS? Hello? Hello...? You still there?

Updated America's broadband watchdog, the FCC, has declined to share any more details on the cyber-assault that apparently downed its website shortly after it announced its intent to kill net neutrality. Today, the regulator said in a formal response [PDF] to a Freedom of Information inquiry that it would not hand over more than 200 …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jul 2017

Death to strap-ons, says Intel, yet thrusts its little AI stick into us all

Intel, having accepted the inevitable, has dropped out of the wearables and fitness band game, and canned the teams working on that strap-on tech. Now it's shifted its attention to the next thing it will presumably quickly lose interest in: a USB stick for running machine-learning workloads. Having read between the lines over …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jul 2017

Why can't you install Windows 10 Creators Update on your old Atom netbook? Because Intel stopped loving you

Microsoft has blamed Intel for the sad trail of low-end PCs left out of the Windows 10 Creators Update rollouts. The Redmond giant says its latest flavor of Windows can't support machines powered by Intel's Atom Cloverview processor family because Chipzilla has stopped supporting those chips. Without Intel providing firmware …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jul 2017
A cat stuck in a tree

'We hold the high ground' says Qualcomm boss as profits crater

Qualcomm is remaining optimistic despite another miserable financial quarter, worsened by the ongoing legal war with Apple. Speaking to analysts in a quarterly results conference call on Wednesday this week, CEO Steve Mollenkopf said the chip designer still thinks it will beat Apple in court if need be. (He earlier said Qualy …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jul 2017

Apple hurls out patches for dozens of security holes in iOS, macOS

Apple has today released patches addressing roughly four dozen exploitable security vulnerabilities in iOS, macOS, and WatchOS. The iOS 10.3.3 update resolves 47 flaws for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, including multiple remote code execution holes in the WebKit browser engine. Fixes were also posted for the Apple Watch's …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Jul 2017

Factories counter-punch Qualcomm in the gut as Apple eggs them on

Updated The four electronics factories sued by Qualcomm for not paying licensing fees have lodged their own countersuit with the backing of Apple. In a counter-complaint [PDF] lodged Tuesday in California, Taiwanese manufacturers Pegatron, Compal, Hon Hai, and Wistron allege Qualcomm is trying to force them to pay excessive royalties …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Jul 2017
Watson Power7 cluster. Pic: IBM

Watson AI panned, 5¼ years of sales decline ... Does IBM now stand for Inferior Biz Model?

Analysis If there's one thing you can give IBM credit for, it's Big Blue's ability to put on a brave face. Not only has its Watson offering been skewered by Wall Street analysts, it's also just reported its 21st straight quarter of revenue decline. Its CEO Ginni Rometty, whose annual pay package is a whopping $33m (£25m), hasn't …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Jul 2017

Iranian duo charged with hacking US missile simulation software biz

Two Iranian nationals have been charged with hacking a US defense technology maker to steal and sell its rocketry simulation software. The US Department of Justice claims Mohammed Reza Rezakhah and Mohammed Saeed Ajily compromised developer Arrow-Tech to download tools that are restricted from export under America's …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jul 2017

Don't let this snap-drag-on: Qualcomm waves white flag to Apple

The CEO of Qualcomm says he hopes to settle his company's licensing dispute with Apple out of court. Speaking at a conference in Aspen, Colorado, Steve Mollenkopf suggested the SnapDragon chip designer would push for a settlement rather than rely on a jury to determine if Apple was liable for back payment of royalties. "There …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jul 2017
My Friend Cayla and i-Que robot

2017: The FBI alerts parents to dangers of Internet of Sh*t toys

The FBI issued a warning Monday advising parents to carefully check internet-connected toys for possible privacy and security concerns. In this startling alert, the Feds gave America's families the grim news: many toys sporting cloud-backed features such as speech recognition or online content hosting "could put the privacy …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jul 2017

Apache says 'no' to Facebook code libraries

The Apache Foundation has declared that none of its new software projects can include Facebook's booby-trapped BSD-licensed code. The foundation's legal affairs director, Chris Mattmann, said over the weekend that libraries, frameworks and tools covered by Facebook's open-source-ish BSD-plus-Patents license should not be …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jul 2017

Cisco plugs command-injection hole in WebEx Chrome, Firefox plugins

Cisco has patched its Chrome and Firefox WebEx plugins to kill a bug that allows evil webpages to execute commands on computers. A malicious page, when visited by a vulnerable Windows machine, can exploit the security flaw (CVE-2017-6753) to run arbitrary commands and code with the same privileges as the browser. In other …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jul 2017

Funnily enough, charging ££££s for trashy bling-phones wasn't a great idea

Vertu, the British smartphone maker known for its obscenely expensive blinged-out handsets, will shut down over an apparent lack of interest in obscenely expensive blinged-out handsets. The bust biz, which did not return a request for comment, was wound up this week in London's High Court. It will liquidate assets and put …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jul 2017
A hand squeezing juice from an orange

Juicero does to its staff what your hands can do to its overpriced juice sacks

Internet-tethered juicer maker Juicero is axing 25 per cent of its staff as the startup tries to shake off its status as a Silicon Valley punchline. Employees were told this morning that the San Francisco startup would not only shed staff, but also try to cut the price of its internet-connected juice-extractor in order to go …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jul 2017
stock trader image

Top tip for all you insider traders: Don't Google 'insider trading' from your work PC

An MIT postdoctoral staffer was arrested and charged with insider trading after he allegedly searched online for tips on committing the crime. Fei Yan, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is accused of securities and wire fraud: he allegedly used information from his wife's law practice to make favorable stock trades that netted more …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jul 2017

All your bass are belong to us: Soundcloud fans raid site for music amid fears of total collapse

Music hosting biz SoundCloud, having just axed 40 per cent of its staff, is now trying to ward off rumors that it will go broke in less than two months. The song-sharing service was rumored to be in crisis mode and had to shut its doors, with just 50 days of funding left before it ran out of cash. A spokesperson insisted …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jul 2017
Alexa photo via Shutterstock

Amazon mumbles into its coffee when asked: Will you give app devs people's Alexa chats?

Amazon is apparently considering a plan to provide app developers with transcripts of people's conversations with their Alexa boxes. We're told the Bezos Bunch is mulling whether to change their developer policy to give the third-party coders who create Alexa "skills" app software the raw transcripts of what users say to Alexa …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jul 2017

1Password won't axe private vaults. It'll choke 'em to death instead

The maker of password manager 1Password says it will not force its users to stop using private password vaults – as it sweeps this local storage functionality under the rug. There was growing alarm in the computer security community this week that 1Password local vaults were going to be a thing of the past. Basically, if you …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jul 2017
Tommy Lee Jones delivers implied facepalm. From No Country for Old Men  Copyright Miramax Pictures. 2007.

Blue Cross? Blue crass: Health insurer thought it would be a great idea to mail plans on USB sticks

A US health insurer is taking heat for its decision to mail USB drives containing coverage information to businesses that offer its plans to employees. Alabama-based developer Thomas Gamble said he received a mailer from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama that included a USB key, along with instructions to insert the gadget …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jul 2017
A man diving from a cliff

Brickbat unwraps in lap of crap Snapchat yap app technocrat brats after stock splat mishap

Snap Inc is being sued by its shareholders who claim that executives misled investors about the value of SnapChat app maker ahead of its IPO earlier this year. The lawsuit [PDF], filed this month in the California Central US District Court, accuses Snap, CEO Evan Spiegel and CFO Drew Vollero of violating US securities laws. …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jul 2017

Uncle Sam says 'nyet' to Kaspersky amid fresh claims of Russian ties

Kaspersky Lab is facing new restrictions from the US government to go along with a fresh round of accusations that the antivirus makers works closely with Russian intelligence. The US General Services Administration (GSA), the agency that handles government IT purchases and subscriptions, has removed the Russian software …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jul 2017
Microsoft Lumia 640 Windows Phone

Got a Windows Phone 8 mobe? It's now officially obsolete. Here's why...

Microsoft has formally ended support for its Windows Phone platform. Tuesday's monthly software update release marked the official end of support for Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft's last release under the Windows Phone moniker. This means an end to patches and technical support. "There will be no new security updates, non- …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jul 2017
Microsoft's HoloLens Augmented Reality headset

It's July 2017 – and your expensive HoloLens can be pwned over Wi-Fi

Patch Tuesday Microsoft's HoloLens may only be in the hands of developers, but that hasn't stopped researchers from finding major security holes in the augmented reality headset. Critical fixes for HoloLens were among the 57 CVE-listed flaws Redmond had to address in this month's edition of Patch Tuesday. Of the 57 bugs blasted in various …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jul 2017

Oracle, Amazon, Google, and Salesforce finally agree on something

Some of the biggest names in IT are joining forces to create a lobbying effort focused on patent reform in the US. The High Tech Innovators Alliance (HTIA) is backed by eight tech giants that will lend their money and expertise to getting new laws and rules passed to make it more difficult for patent trolls to sue them and …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jul 2017

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017