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Shaun Nichols

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OS X Yosemite

Apple said to be readying OS X Yosemite public beta

Apple could soon release its OS X Yosemite platform available to the public as an open beta. A report from 9to5Mac cites sources briefed on the matter in reporting that the Mac maker will be putting the new version of OS X out as a rare public beta later this month. Apple unveiled the OS X Yosemite update in early June at its …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2014
Microsoft campus

Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT TO THE RESCUE!

Microsoft is kicking off a corporate overhaul with the introduction of new policies limiting the numbers of corporate conventions and contracted workers. The company said in an email to partner firms that it would place an 18-month limit on the tenure of all contracted employees. Those who hit the limit will be asked to take six …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2014
iPhone forensics beaten image

PROOF the Apple iPhone 6 rumor mill hype-gasm has reached its logical conclusion

As Apple reveals a new iPhone around about this time of the year, speculation on a refreshed smartphone is rife. Today, the rumor mill hit a new low – or high depending on your level of fandom. A set of "leaked" "images" suggests the next iPhone will sport a translucent Apple logo on the back of its case, which will light up …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2014

Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN

Yet another person has stepped forward to claim that Verizon is deliberately throttling Netflix traffic, this time with video evidence. Colin Nederkoorn, CEO of software firm Customer.io, alleged in a personal blog post that his Verizon Fios internet connection in New York slows Netflix traffic to a trickle, but runs at full …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jul 2014
Kindle Unlimited screenshot

Amazon's Spotify-for-books: THE TRUTH

Amazon has confirmed the launch of a monthly subscription service that will allow unlimited access to ebooks and audiobooks. The company said Kindle Unlimited will allow peeps to pay a $9.99 flat fee and have full access to a collection of 600,000 titles. The service covers printed and audio titles. To promote the subscription …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jul 2014
Somewhat implausible thermogram as imagined in the Predator movies

iSense something, a presence not felt since... Apple sketches fanboi-finding infrared sensors

Apple hopes to patent a gizmo that uses heat and infrared light to know when you're nearby. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has published an application, titled Infrared Sensors for Electronic Devices, drawn up the company that describes technology which would use infrared to detect the presence of something and …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jul 2014
AMD FX-8150 Bulldozer

What's inside AMD's life-support machine? A big pile o' PlayStation 4s and XBox Ones

AMD execs are remaining optimistic despite emerging from a quarter in which the company made an eight-figure net loss and fell short of analyst estimates. In Q2 2014, ending June 29, the chipmaker bagged $1.44bn in revenue, up 24 per cent year on year. However, it recorded a GAAP net loss of $36m for the quarter, down from the $ …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jul 2014

Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup

A backbone provider that pumps video from Netflix to viewers has hit back at Verizon's moan that everyone else is to blame for its users' slow streams. Verizon blogged that poor Netflix playback is caused by the networks used by Netflix to pipe films and TV shows to subscribers. Verizon said that while its wires have more than …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jul 2014

Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too

A number of Cisco home network gateways have a security bug that allows attackers to hijack the devices remotely. A firmware update to close the hole is being rolled out to ISPs to deploy. The networking giant said that certain Wireless Home Gateway products are vulnerable to a remote-code execution attack, which is triggered by …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jul 2014
Kindle Unlimited screenshot

Gust catches Amazon's skirt, reveals glimpse of 'Netflix for books'

Amazon appears to be preparing an all-you-can-read literary buffet, giving readers unlimited access to ebooks and audiobooks for $9.99 a month. A webpage temporarily viewable on the Amazon US site dubbed the service Kindle Unlimited. A copy of it was cached by Google and shared on Hacker News. According to the disclosed web …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Jul 2014
iBooks example

Apple ebook price-fix settlement: Readers get $400m, lawyers $50m

Details have emerged of Apple's out-of-court settlement with 33 US states that had accused the company of hiking up ebook prices. US attorneys general revealed today that the iPad maker is on the hook to pay out $400m to readers. Lawyers will walk away with as much as $50m on top of that. The conditional settlement will only go …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Jul 2014
Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer and CFO Ken Goldman

What! is! the! point! of! Yahoo?! To! sell! more! and! more! ads! says! CEO! Mayer!

Yahoo! execs are disappointed but optimistic as the web biz was once again unable to turn around declining revenues in its most recent quarter. The Purple Palace reported revenues of $1.08bn, down four per cent from the previous year's quarter and below analyst estimates. Earnings per share were up five per cent to $0.37, but …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Jul 2014
HP

HP chairman Ralph Whitworth steps down immediately

HP is losing the man who has chaired its board of directors for the past two and a half years, over health concerns. The IT titan said Ralph Whitworth, 58, will be stepping down from the chairman position effective tomorrow in order to focus on his wellbeing. Further details on Whitworth's condition were not given by the company …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jul 2014

Can it be true? That I hold here, in my mortal hand, a nugget of PUREST ... BLACK?

British boffins have constructed a light-absorbing nano-material that could improve the accuracy and sensitivity of imaging and optics systems. Researchers at Surrey NanoSystems say that their Vantablack material, built from carbon nanotubes, is capable of absorbing as much as 99.96 per cent of incident radiation to create a …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jul 2014
Airship over NSA datacenter

NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been urged to hire more crypto experts so it can confidently tell the NSA to take a hike. A report (PDF) from NIST's Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology (VCAT) – which scrutinizes and advises the institute – scolds NIST for being too reliant on the NSA's …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jul 2014
Lyft cars

Lyft hits the brakes: Ban threat stalls taxi app's New York City launch

Ride-booking app maker Lyft has scrapped plans to launch in New York City following legal threats from the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). A Lyft spokesperson confirmed that the planned Friday launch would be moved to Monday as the biz continues to work with authorities on a plan that would allow Lyft drivers to …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jul 2014
School kids

FCC OKs $5 BEEELLION Wi-Fi cash splash in schools, libraries

Five billion dollars will be used to fund Wi-Fi networks in US schools and libraries after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed an overhaul of the E-rate program. The commission issued an order that will pour $2bn of additional funds into E-rate over the next two years for the purpose of installing and upgrading …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jul 2014
Pickaxe

Read the proposed US ASTEROIDS Act to green-light mining IN SPAAAACE

A pair of US Representatives are pushing legislation that would remove some of the legal hurdles to commercial space mining. HR 5063, the adorably named American Space Technology for Exploring Resource Opportunities In Deep Space (ASTEROIDS) Act, would define when resources mined from an asteroid could be considered private …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jul 2014

MonkeyParking FLINGS AWAY San Francisco service

Embattled mobile app vendor MonkeyParking has suspended service in San Francisco under threat of legal action from City Hall. The company said that users in San Francisco would no longer be able to bid on parking spots through the mobile app. The move leaves Rome as the only city in which MonkeyParking currently operates. …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jul 2014

Verizon points more fingers at Netflix: It's YOUR pals slowing data

Verizon and Netflix are having another go-round in their ongoing war over network access for streaming video. In a report posted to its Public Policy Blog, Verizon vice-president of federal regulatory affairs David Young said claims that it deliberately throttles Netflix traffic are untrue and that any traffic bottlenecks were …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jul 2014
Satya Nadella

Get ready for LAYOFFS: Nadella's coma-inducing memo, with subtitles

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has sent a six-page memo to the world warning of a company restructure at the end of the month. The open letter uses buzzwords and cliches to sugar-coat the news that he will tear up the Windows giant's approach to flogging devices and services. Instead, the biz will focus on building "productivity" …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jul 2014

Victim of Tor-hidden revenge smut site sues Tor Project developers

The Tor Project has found itself on the receiving end of a lawsuit that claims the privacy software's developers aided a revenge porn slinger. An attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) told The Register the allegations against the Tor team are baseless. In a lawsuit, Shelby Conklin accuses the Tor Project of …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jul 2014
OS X Yosemite

Has Apple got a hit on its hands? OS X Yosemite 4X more popular than Mavericks

Four times as many developers are using Apple's OS X Yosemite as its predecessor Mavericks, we're told. That factoid comes from web advertising network Chitika, which claims Macs running Yosemite generated, in one month, four times more ad impressions than those running OS X Mavericks during the same period last year. Yosemite …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Jul 2014
Uber logo

Uber kindly agrees not to price gouge during disasters

Taxi-killing car service Uber has struck a deal with New York State officials to prevent runaway service charges. State Attorney-General Eric Schneiderman said that the company had agreed to impose a cap on ride prices in the event of an emergency. Because Uber uses a sliding scale based on demand for its service, a natural …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Jul 2014

Silicon Valley royalty royally slammed for 'persistent, troubling deficit' of diversity

A trio of US Democratic congresswomen have criticized top tech firms' lack of diversity. In an op-ed for The San Jose Mercury News, California Representatives Zoe Lofgren, Anna Eshoo and Barbara Lee called out Silicon Valley's technology houses for the low numbers of women and minorities in their ranks. "It is painfully clear …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Jul 2014

Dear Windows Journal, today I got owned: 29 security bugs swatted

Microsoft has released patches for 29 security vulnerabilities, while Adobe has released an update for Flash Player. Redmond's latest Patch Tuesday batch is composed of six bulletins, two of which have been rated as critical updates. Three others have been rated important, and the sixth is considered a moderate risk. The …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Jul 2014
A guy in a paper hat at the protest

London officials won't take Uber to court – because cabbies are suing the drivers anyway

Car-ride booking service Uber has won a victory in London, UK, as the city's transport authority has decided not to pursue action against the biz after all. Transport for London (TfL) said in a statement to reporters that the San Francisco-headquartered company would not be be subject to further scrutiny by TfL over whether it …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Jul 2014
John Legere

T-Mobile US boss: Hey, FTC! We didn't make THAT much from 'bogus premium texts'

The head of T-Mobile US is refuting claims from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that his company made huge revenues from allowing customers to be flooded with expensive text messages. CEO John Legere said his cell network never bagged the "hundreds of millions of dollars" that the commission claims it did when people were …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Jul 2014
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE: US govt backs mass spying by US govt

The US government's Privacy and Civil Liberty Oversight Board (PCLOB) has dealt a blow to opponents of the NSA's surveillance programs in a new report that reaffirms the controversial Section 702 program. The PCLOB said in its official review of the program that 702 represented a "considerable value" to the government despite …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Jul 2014

Running Cisco's VoIP manager? Four words you don't want to hear: 'Backdoor SSH root key'

Cisco has warned Unified Communications installations can be remotely hijacked by miscreants, thanks to a hardwired SSH private key. In an advisory, the networking giant said unauthenticated attackers can log into its Unified Communications Domain Manager (Unified CDM) software as a root-level user by exploiting a default SSH …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Jul 2014
microsoft

No sueballs needed: Microsoft and Canon buddy up on patent deal

Microsoft has hammered out a patent-sharing deal with camera biz Canon. The two companies have agreed to cross-license their protected technologies, which cover stuff from digital photo products to mobile gear. No specific products, patents or platforms were named, however. Microsoft and Canon have signed other patent deals in …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Jul 2014
IBM personal computer money shot

Remember the turbo button on PCs? New AWS instance has one for CPU burst

Amazon Web Services has unveiled a cheaper EC2 instance type that's geared for running small workloads at low cost. Crucially, it can temporarily ramp up compute performance when it's really needed. The cloud giant reckons its new T2 instances provide affordable options for users running less-demanding applications, such as low- …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Jul 2014

FTC: T-Mobile USA took '$100s of millions' in bogus txt charges

T-Mobile US has been accused of hitting customers with bogus text-message charges running into hundreds of millions of dollars. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed suit against the carrier, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has opened an investigation. The agencies alleged the company allowed users to be …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Jul 2014

'Maximized minimalism' is Samsung's spiel for Galaxy S5 Mini

Samsung is shrinking its flagship Galaxy smartphone to produce a 4.5in S5 Mini handset, a trick it says represents "maximised minimalism". The South Korean giant said the Galaxy S5 Mini would sport the smaller screen size as part of an effort to expand the appeal of the Galaxy line to those turned off by the bulkier 5.1in …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Jul 2014
Dogecoin

Bitcoin was illegal in California? Whoops, governor fixes that 165-year-old money law

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed off on a law legitimizing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for use in the state. The governor rubber-stamped AB 129, enacting what legislators say is a much-needed overhaul of the state codes on currencies. Under the new law, digital currencies and community currencies are protected …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Jul 2014
Street View vehicle in Tramore, County Waterford

Street View Wi-Fi slurp nightmare: US Supremes snub Google's appeal

Google isn't quite done dealing with the fallout of its Street View cars' Wi-Fi snooping scandal. The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear the web giant's appeal to dismiss a class-action suit against it. Google will now have to face suit from 18 plaintiffs – Google v Joffe et al – who accuse the ads goliath of illegal …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Jun 2014

Google Glass faces UK cinema ban: Heaven forbid someone films you crying in a rom-com

Moviegoers in the UK will be asked to remove their Google Glasses and similar camera-fitted wearable computers over privacy and piracy fears. The Cinema Exhibitors Association (CEA) – which represents virtually all theaters in Blighty – fears bootleggers will don the devices to record and illegally distribute films. As such, …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Jun 2014
Photo of Apple iPhone 5C in a range of colors

Walmart in iPhone 5s, 5c price slash – gotta make room for that 'iPhone 6', right?

Walmart has cut the prices of iPhone 5 handsets in its stores to, it's assumed, make way for Apple's next smartphone. The retail goliath on Friday slashed the cost of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c smartphones when users purchase a two-year mobile contract. The 16GB iPhone 5c will now start at just $29, down from a previous price …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jun 2014
Apple's Aperture

Apple abruptly axes Aperture ... Adobe anxiously awaits arrivals

Apple is reportedly ending development of its Aperture photo-tweaking software. The iThing maker said on Friday, via The Loop, that it will be ending development of Aperture and, starting next year, migrating users to its Photos application. Designed as a pro counterpart for iPhoto, Aperture was introduced in 2005. The …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jun 2014
Airship over NSA datacenter

Who gives a F about privacy? New scorecard rates US pols on spying

Civil-rights groups and other campaigners have built a website that tracks US politicians' voting records on privacy laws. Members of the bipartisan outfit Stand Against Spying say their scorecard database will publish an overview and tracker of how senators and representatives in Congress vote for or against key issues on …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Jun 2014
The line for the Apple iPhone - not the cable car.

App maker defends selling S.F. parking spots as a FREE SPEECH issue

The head of embattled app-maker MonkeyParking says the city of San Francisco is violating the US Constitution by ordering the company to shut down its parking application. Paolo Dobrowolny, CEO and cofounder of the company, said that the cease and desist order delivered by City Attorney Dennis Herrera misunderstands how the App …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jun 2014
ipod touch

Hey, remember the iPod Touch? Apple just did

Apple is now touting a cheaper iPod Touch with a better camera. The iThing giant said the 16GB iPod Touch model will now come with a five-megapixel iSight camera as well as a price drop, which will see the entry-level Zune-killer fall from $229 to $199 (£159). The 32GB $249 (£199) and 64GB $299 (£249) models will remain …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jun 2014

You are ALL Americans now: Europeans offered same rights as US folks in data slurp leaks

US Attorney General Eric Holder has raised a few eyebrows by announcing plans to give Europeans the same legal protections as US citizens when Uncle Sam's agents seek their private information. Holder claimed the Obama administration would put forth legislation to offer EU citizens the same data protection rights and access to …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jun 2014
Supreme Court Building

US Supremes just blew Aereo out of the water

The US Supreme Court has ruled against TV-streaming biz Aereo in its copyright case with US broadcasters. The 6-3 opinion (PDF) upholds a lower court ruling that found the company in violation of US copyright law. Aereo essentially has data centers in ten US cities, each fitted with miniature antennas and hardware that pick up …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jun 2014
Data breach image

Montana loses data on MORE PEOPLE THAN LIVE IN MONTANA

The state of Montana is warning citizens and offering free credit monitoring and identity protection service after a data breach exposed information on 1.3 million people. The state Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) is providing notification to citizens after hackers breached one of the department's servers …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jun 2014
white dwarf star

Shine on you crazy diamond: Distant dwarf may hide space jewel

Astronomers say they have discovered a white dwarf star that could be the coldest of its type ever detected. The boffins said that the dwarf star resides alongside the pulsar PSR J2222-0137 and could hold at its core a diamond the size of the earth. Estimates would place the star's age at 11 billion years, roughly the same as …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jun 2014
Bitcoin bloodbath

Got a botnet? Thinking of using it to mine Bitcoin? Don't bother

Despite an increase in popularity over recent months amongst botnet operators, malware-powered Bitcoin mining brings little to no financial return, say experts. Security giant McAfee contends in its quarterly threat report (PDF) that commercial botnet controllers and malware packages have been adding cryptocurrency mining …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jun 2014

Lync users see outages as Microsoft wrangles with network problems

Microsoft is scrambling to fix its Lync service after network problems left the platform inaccessible to users. The company said Monday afternoon that it was dealing with what it called "routing infrastrcture issues" in attempting to restore service to the unified communications platform. RT @Office365 We realize some Lync …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jun 2014
San Francisco cable car

San Francisco issues SMACKDOWN on parking spot sale software

San Francisco city officials are cracking down on mobile applications that allow users to buy and sell public parking spaces. City Attorney Dennis Herrera said Monday that his office had sent a cease-and-desist notice to the developers of Monkey Parking, a mobile app which lets users sell their public parking spaces in crowded …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jun 2014
Surface Pro 3 cracked screen from iFixit

DISPLAY DESTRUCTION D'OH! Teardown cracks Surface Pro 3 screen

Microsoft has pitched its Surface Pro 3 as a "tablet that can replace your laptop." That is unless, it seems, you want to repair or upgrade your laptop. Teardown specialists iFixit have posted their initial dissection of the latest Redmond tablet, and they've concluded that the surface on the Surface is poor for service. The …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jun 2014