Shaun Nichols

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US Supreme Court

Supreme Court closes court-shopping loophole for patent trolls

The US Supreme Court has issued a ruling that could block patent-holding firms from seeking out friendly courts to hear their infringement claims. An 8-0 ruling by the nation's top court in the TC Heartland v Kraft Foods [PDF] case held that a company can be sued only in the state where it is incorporated, rather than in any …
Shaun Nichols, 22 May 2017
Example of tidy cabling

Uncle Sam drags feet on govt data center cull

US government agencies are falling behind on their plans to consolidate data center facilities to cut IT costs. This according to a report [PDF] from the US Government Accountability Office, which found that just three agencies have made up the bulk of data center closures as part of the Data Center Optimization Initiative. …
Shaun Nichols, 22 May 2017
Twitter flock

Wondering why the office is so productive? Yep, Twitter's knackered

Twitter has spent much of the day tackling gremlins in its systems that have left loads of users unable to access parts of the jibber-jabber service. The internet megaphone copped to two different problems that have arisen in the past 12 hours. While not a complete outage, the issues have left some without access to basic …
Shaun Nichols, 19 May 2017
Clog dancers. image via shutterstock http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-138156878/

You'll get a kick out of this: Qualcomm patents the 'Internet of Shoes'

Chip-and-lawsuit designer Qualcomm has drawn up a patent on blueprints for an internet-connected shoe. The semiconductor firm has filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for something it simply calls "Internet of Shoes." The abstract of the application describes it as: A connected shoe apparatus …
Shaun Nichols, 19 May 2017
Sleeping man on couch with a beer , popcorn and a food-stained vest. Photo by Shutterstock

Mi casa es su casa: Ubuntu bug makes 'guests' anything but

Recent versions of the Ubuntu Linux distro fail to limit system access for guest accounts. This according to developer Tyler Hicks, who reported a bug that allows guest users to roam free of the confines expected to be placed on system access for guests. Ideally, guest users should be restricted to a small temporary …
Shaun Nichols, 19 May 2017
AT&T store

40,000-plus AT&T staff threaten to strike Friday

A union representing 40,000 AT&T Mobility workers is threatening a nationwide strike this weekend after negotiations with the telco stalled. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) said on Wednesday that union members in 36 states are set to join picket lines outside of AT&T retail stores this weekend if the company can't …
Shaun Nichols, 18 May 2017
panic

You think your day was bad? OS X malware hackers just swiped a Mac dev's app source

The head of a Mac-centric software studio is coming clean today after a malware infection on his OS X machine last week resulted in the loss of source code for several products. Steven Frank, founder of Portland, Oregon-based Panic Inc, said he fell victim to a poisoned download of the Handbrake video transcoder that resulted …
Shaun Nichols, 18 May 2017
Woman pays for something online with her credit card. Photo by Shutterstock

Gotcha, Tatcha! Thieves hide in servers to hoover up victims' bank card numbers mid-order

Cosmetics peddler Tatcha is warning customers after hackers were able to compromise its website and harvest payment card details as orders poured in. The US branch of the Japanese biz has been sending notices this month to customers whose card details were apparently stolen on January 8 of this year and discovered in April. " …
Shaun Nichols, 17 May 2017

Backup crack-up: Fasthosts locks people out of data storage for days amid WCry panic

Fasthosts left some customers without access to their backups for roughly six days – after it tore down systems it feared were vulnerable to the WannaCry malware. The Brit web hosting biz confirmed to The Register that it pulled the plug on gear hosting some of its customers' online storage service last Friday. These systems …
Shaun Nichols, 17 May 2017
Google, photo by lightpoet via Shutterstock

US judges say you can Google Google, but you can't google Google

Google has won the rights to keep its name a proper trademark after a US court found its search engine is not quite ubiquitous enough to be considered a generic term. The three-judge panel in the US Ninth District Court of Appeals found that the Mountain View advertising giant can keep the trademark it holds on "Google," …
Shaun Nichols, 16 May 2017

Bell Canada hacked: 2m account details swiped by mystery miscreants

Bell Canada said Tuesday 1.9 million customer account details were swiped by hackers – although stressed no payment card numbers or passwords were slurped. The nation's largest telco said it is working with Canadian police to figure out who was responsible for the disclosure of the customer email addresses, and phone numbers …
Shaun Nichols, 16 May 2017
Trolls from the film "Troll 2"

Blighty bloke: PC World lost my Mac Mini – and trolled my blog!

A British man says PC World botched his order, then staff trolled his blog after he wrote a post complaining about it. Open-source techie Darren Moore, of London, UK, says he ordered three items through the electronics retailer back in March. After learning his business account was set up to ship to the wrong address, Moore …
Shaun Nichols, 16 May 2017
Army of Darkness. Universal Pictures.

It's 2017 – and your Mac, iPad, iPhone can all be pwned by an e-book

Apple has released security updates for both of its main operating systems, along with iTunes, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. All should be installed as soon as possible before they are exploited by miscreants. The updates, numbering seven in total, include fixes for security vulnerabilities in the Safari browser and WebKit engine …
Shaun Nichols, 16 May 2017
Take a number machine

Intel, Samsung join Apple, FTC firing squad against rival Qualcomm

Add Intel and Samsung to the mix of companies siding against Qualcomm in its battle with US trade watchdog the FTC over alleged dodgy patent licensing. The two tech giants filed amicus briefs with the Northern California District Court on Friday supporting the American regulator in its crackdown on Qualy, and urged Judge Lucy …
Shaun Nichols, 15 May 2017
Woman smiling on phone/. photo by shutterstock

Amazon's Alexa is worst receptionist ever: Crazy exes, stalkers' calls put through automatically

Amazon's voice-controlled assistant Alexa and its Echo devices now sport the ability to take your phone calls – so long as you don't ever plan on ignoring calls from anyone. The Alexa Calling feature, announced by Amazon earlier this week, allows Amazon Echo devices and the Alexa app to place and accept phone calls to and from …
Shaun Nichols, 12 May 2017
Zuckerberg

Facebook in the dock: Web giant faces trial for allegedly ripping off data center blueprints

Facebook is set to be dragged before a jury next year to face allegations that its Open Compute Project is built on stolen server and rack technology. In a California district court, Judge Edward Davila today laid out a timeline for the legal battle between the social network and UK data center specialist BladeRoom. The latter …
Shaun Nichols, 12 May 2017
Man holds banana like a gun. Photo by Shutterstock

'Judge Java' to sueball-slinging smut studio: Test your pirate-hunting tools or walk the plank

A grumble-flick studio will be blocked from lobbing copyright infringement claims at pirates until it proves its tools for identifying illegal downloaders work. Judge William Alsup – of Google v Oracle fame – ordered this week that Malibu Media must show the court that its software can accurately finger users who have …
Shaun Nichols, 12 May 2017
An ambulance

T-Mobile USA sued by parents after their baby dies amid 911 meltdown

A Texas mother is suing T‑Mobile USA, alleging technical issues with the carrier prevented her child from getting urgent medical care, which led to his death. Bridget Alex says that the telco's problems with "ghost calls" left the babysitter of her six-month-old son unable to reach the city's emergency services in time to save …
Shaun Nichols, 11 May 2017
A person crying over a breakup

Moneybags Verizon swoops in, swipes Straight Path from AT&T with a $3.1bn pot of gold

Just one month after announcing a $1.7bn acquisition deal with AT&T, 5G spectrum holder Straight Path now says it is instead inking a $3.1bn deal with Verizon. The telco giant announced on Wednesday that it would be paying $184.00 per share in an all-stock acquisition deal. Pending shareholders' and US comms watchdog the FCC's …
Shaun Nichols, 11 May 2017

Cloudflare goes berserk on next-gen patent troll, vows to utterly destroy it using prior-art bounties

Cloudflare says it will go above and beyond to destroy what it claims is a uniquely dangerous patent troll. The troll in question is Blackbird Technologies LLC, a law firm based in Boston, US. It has accused Cloudflare of ripping off a patent it owns on internet communications. Crucially, Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince said …
Shaun Nichols, 11 May 2017

Go, GoDaddy! Domain-slinger decapitates email patent troll in court

Updated Domain registrar and host GoDaddy has won its battle with a patent-holding company that had accused it of violating a handful of claims related to basic email functions. The US District Court of Appeals in Phoenix, Arizona, has decided this month to uphold an earlier verdict in GoDaddy's favor, vanquishing the infringement …
Shaun Nichols, 10 May 2017
Office 365, photo by dennizn via Shutterstock

Well this is awkward. As Microsoft was bragging about Office at Build, Office 365 went down

Build Microsoft scrambled to get its Office 365 service back online after the cloud productivity suite was hit with a mid-day outage. Loads of people reported that, at around 1245 PT, access to the service went out. Microsoft confirmed shortly after it was having problems, and said it was looking into the matter. Subscribers in New …
Shaun Nichols, 10 May 2017
Nvidia GeForce

Nvidia's profits so far this year are GPU-ge

Graphics chip and ARM systems-on-chips hardware slinger Nvidia says its gaming, datacenter, and automotive groups were to thank for a quarter that saw its profits more than double. The GeForce and Tegra chipmaker reported, for the three months to April 30 aka its first quarter of fiscal 2018 [PDF]: Revenues of $1.94bn were …
Shaun Nichols, 10 May 2017
Man hitting himself

It's 2017 and Windows PCs are being owned by EPS files, webpages

Microsoft has today published patches for more than 50 security flaws in its products – including three serious holes being exploited right now in the wild. These updates should be applied as soon as possible. The May edition of Patch Tuesday addresses blunders in Internet Explorer, Edge, Windows, Office, and the .NET …
Shaun Nichols, 09 May 2017

Cisco patches switch hijacking hole – the one exploited by the CIA

Cisco has patched a critical security flaw in its switches that can be potentially exploited by miscreants to hijack networks – a flaw disclosed in the Vault 7 leak of CIA files. Switchzilla says the vulnerability, CVE-2017-3881, can be exploited remotely by simply establishing a Telnet connection and sending a cluster …
Shaun Nichols, 09 May 2017

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