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Shaun Nichols

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Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties

Online radio service Pandora is being sued by a group of record labels seeking payout for songs released more than four decades ago. The Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA) said that a number of its member labels, both major and independent, are seeking to recoup money from the streaming music giant for its use of songs …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Apr 2014
Gold iPhone 5s, in'it?

Reddit users discover iOS malware threat

Users on a mobile phone hacking subreddit are being credited with the discovery of a malware infection targeting iOS users. The r/jailbreak community uncovered the infection while assisting a user who had been noticing unusual activity on his jailbroken iPhone. Known as 'Unflod Baby Panda', the infection targets jailbroken iOS …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Apr 2014

Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach

As the officials investigating the Target data breach are settling in for what they believe will be a long and complex process of catching the hackers behind the heist, another US retailer is admitting that it lost millions of customer payment card details. Arts and crafts store chain Michaels said that it has confirmed the …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Apr 2014
Google Fiber

Google eyes business service in latest Fiber trials

Google is in the planning stages of a project to offer its Fiber internet service to businesses in northwest Kansas City, Missouri. Local paper The Kansas City Star said that the company is informing businesses in that area of city that they are eligible for a limited trial of the service, which will take place in coming months …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Apr 2014

KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!

Coming advances in technology have a majority of Americans optimistic about the future, yet nervous about looming technologies, a survey has found. According to a Pew Research study, 59 per cent of those polled believe that technological change will make people's lives in the future "mostly better" compared to just 30 per cent …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Apr 2014
FCC logo

AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits

US wireless megacarrier AT&T has told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that it could withdraw from an upcoming wireless spectrum auction over proposed buying limits. The carrier on Wednesday argued that if current caps aren't lifted, AT&T and other carriers would not be able to obtain enough spectrum space to properly …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Apr 2014

Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED

A teen suspected of exploiting the Heartbleed bug to rifle through Canada's tax computer systems has been arrested. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said 19-year-old Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes of London, Ontario, was cuffed at his home, and charged with the unauthorized use of a computer and criminal mischief in …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Apr 2014

Burnt out on patches this month? Oracle's got 104 MORE fixes for you

Oracle has released a hefty load of security updates that address a total of 104 different vulnerabilities across its product lines. The database giant said its latest Critical Patch Update includes fixes for its middleware and database platforms, as well as the Hyperion, Siebel, and PeopleSoft platforms and a number of former …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Apr 2014
Eugene Kaspersky in Sydney

Eugene Kaspersky: Ukraine conflict hurts enterprise security

As governments around the world continue to wrangle for a peaceful solution to the political tensions in the Ukraine, cybercriminals could catch governments off guard with online attacks, warns Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky. Speaking at a summit in San Francisco, the Kaspersky Lab cofounder and namesake expressed concern …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Apr 2014
Kaspersky Lab logo

Kaspersky's Security for Virtualization pushed to XenServer and HyperV

Kaspersky is extending its Security for Virtualuzation Light Agent security tool to the Citrix XenServer and Microsoft HyperV platforms. The company said that the Light Agent tool will launch on April 22 with XenServer and HyperV support as well as new options for VMware's vSphere hypervisor. The company will continue to …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Apr 2014
Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge

Tom Ridge: Private sector lagging in cybersecurity

Poor communications, weak management and a lack of communications with government agencies is leaving many large enterprises vulnerable to targeted cyberattacks, according to former US Homeland Security boss Tom Ridge. Speaking at a press event in San Francisco, Ridge said that the growth in security threats targeting government …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Apr 2014
Samsung Galaxy S5

T-Mobile US cuts overage charges, dares rivals to follow suit

T-Mobile US is once again looking to seize headlines in the US carrier space by pressing forward with a campaign to end data, text, and voice overage fees. The company said that as of May 1 it will no longer charge users an additional fee when the data limit on a device has been reached. Similarly, the company has eliminated …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Apr 2014

EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database

The FBI is planning to expand the facial recognition components of its biometrics database to catalog and search the faces of more than 52 million individuals, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The group has released a cache of documents it obtained from the bureau by way of a Freedom of Information Act suit …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Apr 2014
Windows 8.1 Update Start Screen

Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE

Microsoft is urging users running Windows 8.1 to update their systems soon, since the company plans to drop patch support for early versions of the operating system. Redmond said that after May it would only issue updates for systems running the Windows 8.1 Update release and later. The move means that Windows 8.1 systems which …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Apr 2014
VMware logo

VMware patches man-in-the-middle vSphere vuln

VMware has released an update to its vSphere Client which addresses a potential – but hard to target – man-in-the-middle vulnerability for the virtualization tool. The company said that users running vSphere Client 4.0, 4.1, 5.0, and 5.1 for Windows were vulnerable to a flaw that allows the client to download and install …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Apr 2014
Robbie Schoen's tribute to Steve Jobs (photo courtesy of Reg reader John P)

Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN

When Apple cofounder Steve Jobs passed away in 2011, makeshift shrines and memorial tributes popped up around the globe. Steve Jobs fountain sculpture outside the Felix Kulpa Gallery in Santa Cruz, California Bow down and worship the Baked Apple (click to enlarge) Most of these iShrines were temporary in nature and were …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Apr 2014

Facebook: US feds probed over 18,700 accounts in six months

The US government asked Facebook for information about 18,715 user accounts between July and December of last year. The social networking giant said in its latest transparency report that law enforcement agencies asked the company to hand over thousands of pieces of information from user profiles as part of criminal …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Apr 2014
iPad and iPad mini

T-Mobile US increases pressure on rivals with fondleslab freebie

Wireless carrier T-Mobile US is stepping up its 'Uncarrier' campaign in America with the introduction of a contract-free plan which discounts LTE tablets to the same cost as Wi-Fi models. The company said Thursday that starting 12 April it will be offering users 1.2GB free data for the year and price discounts on LTE-equipped …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Apr 2014

US government green-lights data swapping for security firms

Security firms looking to share research data with their peers need not fear the US Federal Trade Commission or Department of Justice any more. The FTC and DOJ issued a joint policy statement on Thursday assuring the security community that they will not pursue antitrust cases against companies that share their security …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Apr 2014
Apple virtual reality headset design

Apple eyes virtual reality goggle game with patent filing

Apple has filed for a patent which suggests the company is looking into developing its own head-mounted virtual reality system. The patent application, disclosed Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), was originally filed by Apple in December of 2013. It describes a set of goggles which would be worn by users to …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Apr 2014
Declining graph

PC market's bleeding slows thanks to XP phase-out

The end of support for the Windows XP operating system has triggered a jump in sales, bringing a rare bit of good news for PC vendors. Research firm Gartner found that PC sales in the first quarter of 2014 are down 1.7 per cent over the same period last year. While still showing decline, the figure points to a possible rebound …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Apr 2014
HP

SEC slaps HP with $108 MEEELION fine over bribe scandal

HP has agreed to a $108m settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to settle charges that company representatives paid off government officials in order to obtain contract deals. The SEC said that the settlement would end a case it had filed with the company alleging violations of the Foreign Corrupt …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Apr 2014

Napster cofounder's Jerk.com accused of acting like ... err ... jerks

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cracking down on a site they say lifted user information to create smear profiles on a for-profit reputation site. The FTC said that the operators of Jerk.com (which appears to have since been taken down) harvested data from millions of Facebook users to create profiles without permission …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Apr 2014
Windows XP boot screen

Office, IE, Flash fixes accompany Windows XP's final Patch Tuesday

Microsoft has released patches for critical security vulnerabilities in Word and Internet Explorer on what is to be the final Patch Tuesday update for Windows XP systems. The April edition of the monthly security update contains four bulletins that address a total of 11 vulnerabilities in various Microsoft products. Two of the …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Apr 2014

Electronic kit low on juice? SPIT ON IT

An international group of researchers has developed a method for building microbial fuel cells (MFCs) small and efficient enough to be powered by human saliva. The team from Penn State University in the US and Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah University of Science and Technology said that the device, which relies on the decay of …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Apr 2014
Thunderbolt Logo

Intel promises 10Gb Ethernet with Thunderbolt 2.0

Intel will expand its Thunderbolt high-speed interconnect platform with the addition of Ethernet networking support. The company, presenting at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference in Las Vegas, said that the next version of the platform will not only support 20Gbps connections for peripherals, but will also …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Apr 2014
One of the few photos showing Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 moonwalk

Get your MOON GEAR: Auction to feature Space Race memorabilia

Looking to own a piece of space history? Have a spare $50,000 to spend? You may be in luck, as a US auction house is placing a series of artifacts from the US and Soviet space programs on the block. Auction house Bonhams is set to offer a collection of items ranging from the early first manned spaceflights to the last Apollo …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Apr 2014

Apple execs: 'Consumers want what we don't have'

The latest patent row between Apple and Samsung is showing the unpleasant details of the ongoing market battle between the two consumer electronics giants. In documents submitted to the San Jose District Court, internal memos from the two firms show that Samsung has become fixated on Apple more than any other competitor in the …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Apr 2014
Amazon Fresh's Dash ordering wand

Why ever leave home? Amazon wants to turn your kitchen into a shop

Amazon is testing a handheld barcode reader that'll scan stuff in your house so that you can create a shopping list of things you're running out of – that list being sent to Amazon's Fresh grocery delivery service, natch. The company said that its Dash tool, being put through its paces in an invitation-only trial program, will …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Apr 2014
Apple iPhone 4 (left) and Samsung Galaxy S 4G (right)

Judge strikes down Apple attempt to bar Samsung's 'untrue' patent comments

Apple has been rebuffed in its attempt to exclude Samsung testimony in the two firms' ongoing patent infringement case. Judge Lucy Koh has struck down a request for relief filed by Cupertino's legal eagles in objection to comments made by Samsung relating to Apple's use of patents it has claimed Samsung infringes upon. The …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Apr 2014
Google Fiber

Is Google really mulling building a US cellphone network? Allegedly, yes

Google is in the early stages of planning to roll out its own cellphone network, an upstart tech news wire is claiming. The Information cited a pair of sources who had spoken to Google to discuss providing wireless services, including voice calls and mobile data, where the web giant has built up its US fiber broadband network …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Apr 2014
google street view edinburgh

Google to Supremes: End this Street View fight once and for all

Google is taking the battle over its Street View data collection to the US Supreme Court, seeking a final decision on the legality of its Wi-Fi snooping activity. The company has filed a petition (obtained by Wired) asking the Supremes to hear its appeal of a decision by the US Ninth Circuit court of appeals. The case dates …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Apr 2014

Bay of Tweets: US sought to disrupt Cuba with covert social network

The US government ran a covert campaign to undermine the Cuban government via a social networking platform, according to the Associated Press. A report from the news agency detailed the launch and eventualy shutdown of ZunZuneo, a Twitter-like platform which its creators say was designed to spur free speech, and which the AP …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Apr 2014
Ubuntu One logo

Ubuntu N-ONE: 'Storage war' with Dropbox et al annihilates cloud service

Linux distro biz Canonical is shutting down its Ubuntu One online file and music storage service. The cloud system offered 5GB of space per user account, and allowed Linux, Windows, Android and iOS devices to back up data to its servers. Users could buy a subscription to get additional space. But it was no match for rivals …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Apr 2014
Bondi Blue Rev. A iMac - logo

What took you so long Apple? 26 remote exec bugs die in OS X Safari

Apple has fixed 27 vulnerabilities in its Safari web browser for OS X computers, 18 of which were uncovered by Google's Chrome Security Team. All but one of the flaws allow miscreants to execute arbitrary code on victims' computers. The iPhone giant said its Safari 7.0.3 and 6.1.3 update will close the holes, which were found in …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Apr 2014
Proposed bayonet camera mounts for future iPhone models

Apple poking at idea of bayonet phone fittings

Apple has been granted a patent for a system which could bring interchangeable camera lenses to its iOS hardware line. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday published patent No. 8,687,299, in which Apple describes a system for "bayonet" mounts on its handheld devices which would allow for the attachment of …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Apr 2014
Air pollution in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, northeastern China, in October 2013

Chinese company counters pollution by importing fresh air

Citizens in a smog-choked part of China have been queuing for bags of air imported from the country's mountain regions. According to both the Wall Street Journal and the Chinese state-run China News Service, a promotional campaign has been offering users the opportunity to take hits from pillow-sized bags of air collected in the …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Apr 2014

Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'

Google's Maps team has made an early entry into this year's April Fools' crop of pranks with the introduction of Pokemon to the mobile application. The company said in a video that it would be adding the Pokemon-tracking functionality as part of a campaign to hire a new "Pokemon Master" position within the company. Those who can …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Apr 2014

BlackBerry sucker-punches TV star Ryan Seacrest in patent brawl

Troubled mobe maker BlackBerry has received a welcome bit of good news from a California court, which has blocked sales of a physical iPhone add-on keyboard the company says copies its hardware. A Northern California District Court judge on Monday granted an injunction that prevents the sale and import of Typo keyboards for …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Apr 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft CEO Nadella names his Xbox and Cloud OVERLORDS

New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has made two important albeit expected appointments to his executive team. The big cheese announced on Monday that his company will remove the "interim" from Scott Guthrie's role as interim executive vice-president of cloud and enterprise. Phil Spencer, the boss of in-house games developer …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Mar 2014

FTC: Do SSL properly or we'll shove a microscope up you for decades

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has forged settlement deals with a pair of companies accused of botching their SSL encryption and leaving people vulnerable to identity thieves. According to the watchdog, Fandango and Credit Karma failed to implement basic safeguards when sending highly sensitive personal information over …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Mar 2014
iFixit iPad 3 disassembly

iFixit boss: Apple has 'done everything it can to put repair guys out of business'

Fixing and upgrading iOS devices can be a rewarding business opportunity, so long as you don't mind having to fight Apple every step of the way. So says the founder of iFixit, who spoke at the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco on Thursday. The repair outfit's CEO Kyle Wiens said there is little or no official public information for …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Mar 2014
Texting by TarahDawdy

Sick of walking into things while gawping at your iPhone? Apple has a patent app. for that

Apple has applied for a patent for technology that will warn of oncoming dangers to users distracted by their text messages. An application submitted by the company to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) (rooted out by AppleInsider) describes a user interface that displays transparent text messages over a live video feed …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Mar 2014

Microsoft frisks yet another Android gear maker for patent dosh

Microsoft and Dell have inked a licensing deal for each other's patents that cover the technology found in Android, Chrome OS, and the Xbox. Android handsets and tablets don't spring to mind when you think of Dell, but the Texan biz does offer the Wyse Cloud Connect HDMI stick, which is powered by Android code, for instance. …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Mar 2014
Candy Crush Saga

Candy Crush King sees IPO go sour as stock price heads south

Mobile games firm King Digital failed to take the stock market by storm Wednesday as the firm's initial public offering (IPO) saw its stock price decline by more than 15 per cent at close of trading. The company made famous for its Candy Crush mobile game had been seeking a valuation of roughly $7bn wen it offered its shares on …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Mar 2014

What price justice? 73 CENTS in book price-gouging case

Amazon has begun offering customers store credit on behalf of publishers who recently settled a price-fixing case. The credit is being distributed to customers as part of a refund program under the terms of a US settlement agreed to by five major e-books publishers. Amazon noted that it was not part of the suit, but was merely …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Mar 2014

Revealed: What the US taxman really thinks of crypto-cash Bitcoin

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has laid out a formal set of policies for how it will handle Bitcoin and other virtual currencies for tax purposes. In a guide (PDF) released Tuesday, the IRS said that it would be considering cryptocurrencies to be property, and as such would be subject to US laws regarding the transfer and …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Mar 2014
Apple iPad 2

Apple says sayonara to Samsung's ninjas: iPad, iPhone don't infringe comms patents – report

Apple's iPhone 4 and 4S and iPad 2 products do not violate Samsung-owned patents, a judge in Tokyo ruled today, according to reports. The South Korean giant had taken its rival to court in Japan and demanded damages for alleged patent infringement, and is now considering lodging an appeal, we understand. The ruling, as reported …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Mar 2014
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO

Facebook snubbed Google's Silicon Valley wage-strangle pact, Sheryl Sandberg claims

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg has claimed her company rebuffed Google's attempt to form a pact that would have suppressed engineers' salaries. According to her written testimony to a US court, obtained and published today by CNBC, Sandberg said she met Google executives who were – it is claimed – keen to stop …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Mar 2014
wall_street

Box shock stock doc clocks 250 million bucks

Box has filed its hotly anticipated initial public offering (IPO) paperwork to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The upstart's S-1 document was published this afternoon, US West Coast time, putting in motion its stock market debut. Box, which provides online file-sharing for businesses, wants to raise $250m from …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Mar 2014