Shaun Nichols

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Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

ZuckerChan cash dump seals first biz gobble: A research paper slurper

The $3bn philanthropy initiative led by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan has agreed to acquire Meta: an AI-based aggregator for medical research studies. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) says that it will be making the Meta service free for all researchers to use globally, though no timeline was …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jan 2017
Apple Watch Sport

What links macOS, iOS, Safari, tvOS, watchOS? They all need patching

Apple has emitted a set of software security updates for all of its major operating systems. The patches address holes in iOS, macOS, Safari, iCloud for Windows, watchOS, and tvOS. For iPhone and iPad users, Apple has kicked out iOS 10.2.1, addressing a total of 18 CVE-listed vulnerabilities, including a bug that caused the …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jan 2017

Oracle LIED: Database giant IS axing hundreds of staff – at least 450 in its hardware div

Oracle will cut hundreds of jobs from its embattled hardware division in California, a move the tech goliath had previously denied. About 450 people from the company's hardware operation in Santa Clara will get pink slips, according to a letter from Oracle to the California Employment Development Department seen by The Mercury …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jan 2017
Apple iPhone 6s

One BEEELLION dollars: Apple sues Qualcomm, one of its chip designers

Following the lead of the FTC, Apple has filed suit against Qualcomm alleging it was charging excessive patent royalty fees for cellphone technology. The Cupertino maker of AirPods says in a lawsuit [PDF] filed with the Southern California District Court on Friday that Qualcomm has for years been gouging it with excessive …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jan 2017
An angry mob

Rap for crap WhatsApp trap flap: Yack yack app claptrap slapped

Computer security experts and cryptographers have accused The Guardian of overblowing what was reported to be a backdoor in WhatsApp's encryption. Zeynep Tufekci, an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina and associate at the Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, wrote an open letter …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jan 2017
headphones at the Reg

Apple, Amazon smash audiobook cabal after European pressure

Apple and Amazon have agreed to end the exclusivity deal that gave Audible sole access to the iBooks store. The European Commission said on Thursday the two tech giants have agreed to open up the iOS book service to audiobooks distributed by other publishers. According to the EU, Amazon has had the exclusive rights to provide …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jan 2017

Big Blue's blues diffuse: IBM's sales drain now more like a sad trickle

IBM is touting growth in its cloud and cognitive business units as the enterprise giant wraps up a year of double-digit revenue declines. Big Blue said that for its fourth quarter of 2016, ended December 31, revenues were nearly flat over the same period last year and net income was up slightly. Revenues of $21.8bn were down …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jan 2017
empty pockets

Ooops! One in three tech IPOs now trading below their starting price

Around 33 per cent of the technology companies to enter the market in the last ten years are currently valued at a price lower than their IPO mark. This according to researchers with analytics house Geckoboard, which studied 100 software, hardware, and social networking companies that have undertaken IPOs since 2006. Of those …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Jan 2017
Photo by Cat Walker / Shutterstock

Zuck off: Facebook's big kahuna sues Hawaiians to kick 'em off their land

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is suing dozens of families in Hawaii to force them to give up land they've owned for generations. The Honolulu Star Advertiser reports that the Zuck's secluded sanctuary on the garden island of Kauai is at the heart of court proceedings between islanders and the billionaire exec who, by the way, …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Jan 2017
Mark Hurd

Uncle Sam sues Oracle for 'screwing over Asian, black and women staff'

Oracle could lose its lucrative US government IT contracts after the Department of Labor accused the tech giant of racial and gender discrimination. The DoL has filed a lawsuit [PDF] with the US Office of Administrative Law Judges alleging that Oracle's pay grades violate the labor bod's rules against pay and employment …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jan 2017
Students in their twenties sit in a lecture hall in front of open laptops. Photo by Shutterstock

Google harvests school kids' web histories for ads, claims its Mississippi nemesis

Google is once again facing allegations that its cloud for education may be harvesting and selling information on school kids. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is suing [PDF] for full disclosure of how the Chocolate Factory handles and markets any information it collects through the G Suite for Education service it …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jan 2017
Oculus Rift package

Did Oculus swipe blueprints from rival? Zuck takes the stand

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg shed new light on the social network's 2014 acquisition of Oculus VR Tuesday in a Dallas federal court. Zuck took the stand as part of a trial between Oculus and ZeniMax, the rival games developer that has accused Oculus of stealing the virtual reality technology that it uses at the heart of its …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jan 2017
Car on Monopoly board. PHOTO BY Kamira, editorial use ONLY VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

US watchdog sues Qualcomm for 'bribing' Apple to swallow chips

America's trade watchdog the FTC has sued Qualcomm, alleging the California-based biz trampled over US laws on fair competition. The three-count complaint [PDF] accuses the chip designer of strong-arming smartphone makers (cough, cough, Apple) into dodgy deals by abusing its war chest of patents. Qualcomm designs not only the …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jan 2017
gushing fire hydrant, photo via Shutterstock

Li-ion tamers: Boffins build battery with built-in fire extinguisher

Researchers at Stanford University say they have developed a method for building fire-extinguishing materials into standard lithium-ion batteries. The nine researchers behind the paper to be published in the journal Science Advances say that by packing flame-retardant triphenyl phosphate (TPP) into the battery pack behind a …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jan 2017
Portal for the Apple II

Putting the 'Port' in Portal: Old-school fan brings game to Apple II

Videos What do you get when you cross a 10-year-old game with a 40-year-old computer? The weekend at El Reg. Vince Weaver, an assistant professor of computer engineering at the University of Maine, used his winter holiday to write a port of the beloved puzzle-driven snarkfest Portal for the Apple II. "My wife got me the original …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jan 2017
James Madison University

Promising compsci student sold key-logger, infects 16,000 machines, pleads guilty, faces jail

A 21-year-old computer science student, who won a Programmer of the Year Award in high school, has admitted selling key-logging malware out of his college dorm room. On Friday, Zachary Shames, an undergraduate at James Madison University in Virginia, US, pleaded guilty in a federal district court to one count of aiding and …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jan 2017

Aaarrgh, zombie! Dead Apple iOS monopoly lawsuit is reanimated

A US Court of Appeals has resurrected a class-action lawsuit accusing Apple of monopoly behavior with its iOS App Store. The case, Pepper et al v Apple, was sparked by Cupertino customers Robert Pepper, Stephen Schwartz, Edward Hayter and Eric Terrell, who were upset at Apple's stranglehold on software for their iThings. …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jan 2017
A man jumping off a cliff

Now that's a Blue Screen of Death: Windows 10 told me to jump off a cliff

Pic By now, Windows 10 users have grown accustomed to the photos and inspirational quotes from Microsoft adorning their lock screens. Usually, they are just pleasant landscape or architecture pics, with a randomly selected line or two of text to accompany them. Other times, however, they can be a bit unnerving. For Reg reader …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jan 2017

Clone wars: Wrestler sues Microsoft over Gears of War character

A former football player, professional wrestler, and motivational speaker is suing Microsoft, claiming an iconic character in Redmond's Gears of War game ripped off his likeness. Lenwood "Hard Rock" Hamilton claims that he provided photos and voice recordings in 2005 for the character who would become Augustus "Cole Train" …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jan 2017
Trump Tower in New York

AT&T CEO clambers up Trump's tower, explains why he should shower gold for Time Warner

AT&T boss Randall Stephenson has been spotted at Trump Tower in New York City – reportedly in an effort to sell the president-elect on his company's plan to buy Time Warner. The CEO was seen entering the Trump headquarters on Thursday for a meeting with The Donald. Reuters cites sources familiar in reporting that the meetup …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jan 2017

IBM: Hm, medical record security... security... Got it – we need blockchains

IBM says it will partner with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on a study of whether blockchain technology could be used to securely transfer medical information. Big Blue says that its Watson Health unit will work with the FDA on a study aimed at pitching a framework for the use of blockchain technologies to make the …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jan 2017

The top doc, the FBI, the Geek Squad informant – and the child porn pic that technically wasn't

Lawyers for a California doctor accused of hoarding child sex abuse images are challenging the legitimacy of crucial evidence a PC repairman handed to the FBI. While fixing top surgeon Mark Rettenmaier's HP Pavilion computer, a Best Buy technician found what was claimed to be an indecent photo of a child and passed it onto the …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jan 2017
The FBI seal on a building

FBI takes gag out of Cloudflare's mouth after three-year legal battle

Cloudflare successfully fended off an FBI demand for people's private information, we can report this week now that a gagging order has been ripped away. In February 2013, the Feds slapped a National Security Letter (NSL) on the San Francisco-based web delivery biz, requiring it to hand over some customer account records and …

Plusnet? More like Plus-naught: Mobile data on the fritz for days for some unlucky punters

Updated Plusnet Mobile subscribers say their smartphones have been unable to reach the internet via the cellular network for several days. Affected punters tell us they just can't get their mobile handsets to connect to the web via the Plusnet cellular network. Plusnet Mobile, launched in November, piggybacks on BT's EE network. "A …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jan 2017
Privacy

New Windows 10 privacy controls: Just a little snooping – or the max

Microsoft has built an online dashboard of privacy controls in an attempt to soothe lingering anger over Windows 10 and its ability to phone home people's private information. The new web portal lists some of the personal data that is collected from PCs and devices and sent back to Redmond, and allows people to somewhat limit …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jan 2017