Shaun Nichols

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Fight for the Future FCC protest

Special delivery: Activists drop 100,000 net neutrality complaints on FCC

Activists have delivered a massive package to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that they say contains roughly 100,000 citizen complaints. Members of Fight for the Future say they collected the complaints from Americans who want the commission to investigate the use of "zero rating" programs by telcos. The …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jun 2016
Johnny Carson as Carnac

Disco, Pogs, and the Microsoft Surface 3

Microsoft is wrapping up production of its Surface 3 tablet, with no successor in sight. The Redmond giant has confirmed reports that it will be ending production of the Atom-powered tablet at the end of the year and selling out its current stock of hardware. The Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book remain available. "Since …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jun 2016
Angus Young of AC/DC

Thunder struck: Apple kills off display line

Apple has ended production of its line of Thunderbolt monitors. The Cupertino idiot tax racket says that it will no longer be making the display available after its current stock is sold out in Apple stores and online. Apple debuted the Thunderbolt display in 2011, pushing the screen as a reason for users to adopt its new …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jun 2016
Mega processor cables

Holy Crap! Bloke finishes hand-built CPU project!

Have you ever seen an up-close view of how a computer processor works? If you're in the UK, you can head over to Cambridge and see the process firsthand, thanks to the work of Reg friend James Newman, who has finally finished constructing his 16-bit masterpiece, the Mega Processor. You may remember the story of James and his …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jun 2016
Plastic_Logic

Apple kernel security

Apple has confirmed it has left some parts of the iOS kernel open to third parties, but the Cupertino idiot tax racket says that the move will not compromise security. A recent report from MIT Technology Review shows that Apple is okay with exposing some of the guts of its mobile OS if it allows third parties to find flaws and …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jun 2016

Let's Encrypt in trademark drama

The group behind the Let's Encrypt certificate authority (CA) says that its name could be in doubt thanks to rival CA Comodo Group. The Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) says that it is currently locked in a conflict with Comodo, who it claims is trying to trademark the "Let's Encrypt" name despite its previous filings …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jun 2016
Aligator eating a crab

Google beefs up Fiber with Webpass gobble

Google has acquired fellow ISP Webpass in a move designed to expand the reach of its high-speed Fiber service. The deal will give Google yet another way to deliver its internet service to additional markets in the US, specifically those in apartment buildings in markets where Google does not already have cable laid. Webpass …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jun 2016

What do Tor, Tails and Caddy have in common? Mozilla bucks

Mozilla has announced the latest round of awards under its Open Source Support (MOSS) program. The Firefox builder said that it will pay out a total of $385K to eight different projects covering areas including protecting privacy and anonymity and extending access for those with disabilities. The "Mission Partner" awards are …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jun 2016
Binoculars

FTC dings InMobi ad network for tracking world+dog

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says that mobile advertising giant InMobi will pay $950K to settle charges that it tracked "hundreds of millions" of people around the world. The US trade body agreed to the fine as part of a settlement deal that will also include InMobi deleting any information it collected on children, …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jun 2016
Microsoft Wallet

Microsoft hops onboard bonk-to-pay bandwagon

Microsoft has launched its entry into the near-field communications (NFC) mobile payments space. The Microsoft Wallet app will allow Windows Mobile users whose phones are equipped with NFC hardware to link their bank accounts and credit cards to their handsets for retail transactions. Currently, the Wallet app is limited to a …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jun 2016
Doctor Nick Riviera

Google medical search

Hypochondriacs rejoice! Google has added medical symptoms to its search lookup. The Chocolate Factory says that Google will now provide medical suggestions when users query symptoms. When the user searches for a symptom such as "headache," Google will now suggest possible causes or treatments, as well as possibly pointing out …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jun 2016
Gilligan's Island

Maine town plans to become 'Gigabit Island'

A small community on an island off the coast of Maine says that it wants to give Gigabit internet service to all 560 of its residents. The town of Islesboro says it will be covering the costs of building and installing a municipal high-speed network. This despite having fewer than 300 households. Just three hundred households …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jun 2016

US watchdog lobs balls of red tape at spy-in-the-sky drones

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) have laid out a new set of rules to guide businesses that use small drones for imaging. The Part 107 Rule [PDF] sets out the guidelines for commercial flight of drones weighing less than 55lbs for activities such as shooting photos of an …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jun 2016
US Flag and money

US House to vote on whether poor people need mobile phones

The US House of Representatives could end the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Lifeline subsidized phone program in a vote today. The bill, HR5525 or the End Taxpayer Funded Cell Phones Act of 2016, threatens to prohibit the FCC paying out subsidies to mobile phone carriers who offer discounted mobile phone service for …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jun 2016
Hot ticket

New York outlaws ticket-hoarding buybots

A New York State law will make it illegal for resellers to use bots that snap up tickets for events en masse. The State Assembly has passed A10713, a measure that makes the use of automated scripts (bots) on ticket-purchasing sites a criminal act. Under the new law, anyone who is found to be using bots to buy tickets will be …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jun 2016
Money on a book

Apple ebook payouts start

Apple iBooks Store customers will soon begin receiving their share of a $400m antitrust settlement. Law firm Hagens Berman said that starting on Tuesday, it will be distributing credits to customers who purchased certain e-book titles related to the case. Apple agreed to the $400m settlement in 2014 after it was charged that …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jun 2016
Ross Bridge in Chattanooga TN

Chattanooga mayor credits muni broadband with aiding city's revival

The mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee, is crediting the city's recent economic surge to a decision to defy national ISPs and build its own broadband network. Speaking at an event in his city hosted by the Fiber to the Home Council, Mayor Andy Berke said that over the last three years, unemployment in Chattanooga has fallen from …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jun 2016
iSea App

Sea of outrage after 'migrant-spotting app' turned out to be bogus

Update The developers behind a much-hyped, headline-grabbing humanitarian smartphone app are in damage control mode after their software was found to be junk. The iSea app for iOS was billed as a way for users to help rescue refugees adrift at sea by combing over satellite imagery of oceans on their smartphones and flagging any shots …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jun 2016

Verizon union pact official

Verizon has ratified its deal with the Communication Workers of America (CWA). The US telecom giant and the CWA have formalized the contract they had tentatively agreed to in May after a six-week strike that saw Verizon field workers in the mid-Atlantic and New England regions walk off the job. The new contract will cover 36, …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jun 2016
Pic: Shutterstock

Tor torpedoed! Tesco Bank app won't run with privacy tool installed

UK supermarket giant Tesco's mobile banking app refuses to run on handsets where the Tor app is also installed, it emerged this weekend. Mainframe database admin Marcus Davage revealed the Tesco banking app tells users they must remove the Tor Project's anonymizing Android software to access the supermarket's money services. …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jun 2016
Cut cable

Charter halts TWC upgrades

Charter Communications is stopping an upgrade option offered by its recently acquired Time Warner Cable business. According to a memo published by advocacy site Stop the Cap, Charter is telling its employees that it's suspending the Maxx upgrade program – which had been in effect since January 2014 – so that executives can …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jun 2016
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Apple faces Beijing blackout for iPhone 6

Apple has lost a patent infringement lawsuit that could see the iPhone booted from China's capital. The Beijing Intellectual Property Office this week ruled that Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus ripped off patented designs held by Chinese smartphone maker Shenzhen Baili, which flogs a handset called the 100C. Apple has appealed …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jun 2016
Credit card theft

You Acer holes! PC maker leaks payment cards in e-store hack

Acer's insecure customer database spilled people's personal information – including full payment card numbers – into hackers' hands for more than a year. The PC maker has started writing to customers [PDF] warning that their personal records were siphoned off from its online store by crooks between May 12, 2015 and April 28, …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jun 2016
Election form

London Mayor election day bug forced staff to query vote DB by hand

The confirmation of Sadiq Khan as Mayor of London last month was delayed for several hours by a database application bug. The announcement of the election's winner was pushed back from May 6 to May 7 as a result of the programming cockup, which was buried in the IntElect systems used to scan and tabulate citizens' votes. …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jun 2016

LinkedIn denies WWDC stunt

LinkedIn is denying that its $25bn acquisition by Microsoft was timed to steal Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) thunder. In an employee Q&A the business-minded social network provided to a US financial watchdog, LinkedIn says that it did not purposely announce the deal during the Apple developer conference as a …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jun 2016