Shaun Nichols

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HBO slaps takedown demand on 13-year-old girl's painting because it used 'Winter is coming'

Pic It turns out King Joffrey isn't the biggest scumbag at HBO after all. A father in the UK Midlands says the cable TV network demanded his 13-year-old daughter's artwork be taken off the internet after she drew a picture titled "Winter is Coming" and posted the image to art site RedBubble. "My daughter, who happens to be …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Dec 2016
Canadian Mounties

Body cams too fragile for Canadian Mounties – so they won't be used

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) says it will not be equipping its officers with body cameras after the units were found to be not rugged enough for field use. The Mounties say that a three-year trial run of the body-worn camera (BWC) gear has concluded and will not be adopted because the units have neither the battery …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Dec 2016

Sigh... 'Hundreds of thousands' of... sigh, web CCTV cams still at risk of... sigh, hijacking

Vid Amid ongoing malware infections of IoT gadgets and armies of commandeered gizmos attacking server, glaring security holes in web-connected CCTV cameras are going unpatched. So say researchers with Cybereason, who claim a pair of high-profile vulnerabilities they spotted in surveillance cams two years ago have been completely …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Dec 2016

Don't have a Dirty COW, man: Android gets full kernel hijack patch

Google has posted an update for Android that, among other fixes, officially closes the Dirty COW vulnerability. The December 2016 update covers a total of 74 CVE-listed security vulnerabilities in Android devices. These fixes should be landing on Nexus handsets devices very soon, if not already, and installed as soon as …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Dec 2016
Epson WF-3520 printer

Firmware freakout sends Epson Wi-Fi printers into reboot loop

Epson Wi-Fi-connected printers are repeatedly crashing due to what looks like a combination of a firmware update gone wrong and Google Cloud Print. Reg tipster Terry Bernstein says folks have found that their Epson WF‑3520 printers have been sent into a constant loop of shutting down and restarting over the past day. The …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Dec 2016

Verizon flogs off 29 data centers, pockets $3.6bn

Verizon has finalized a deal to hand over control of 29 data centers in the US and Latin America to Equinix, in a deal that will net the telco $3.6bn. The sell-off includes 24 customer-facing locations and is expected to close in 2017. After the hand-off, Verizon customers will be able to continue their managed hosting and …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Dec 2016

US Supreme Court slashes Samsung's patent payout to Apple

Update Samsung has claimed a Supreme Court victory that will see its $400m patent damages bill to Apple significantly reduced. The highest court in America ruled that the damages were incorrectly calculated and ordered a Californian district court to take another look at the case to calculate a smaller bill for the South Korean …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Dec 2016

Engineers say safety features got squished out of cramped Samsung Note 7

A teardown analysis of the Samsung Note 7 claims that the ill-fated phablet was doomed by a design flaw that squeezed its battery pack to unsafe pressure levels. Anna Shedletsky, CEO of engineering software developer Instrumental, said her team's teardown analysis of the Note 7 found that the smartphone's tendency to explode …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Dec 2016
Bob and Doug McKenzie of Canada

Canada asks citizens: How would you like us to spy on you?

The Canadian government is asking citizens to weigh in on its plans for digital surveillance programs. A government-hosted page called Investigative Capabilities in a Digital World seeks input from residents on matters such as intercepting communications, forcing data decryption, and requiring service providers in Canada to …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Dec 2016

US axes $722m takeover of chip biz by Chinese investors. Thanks, Obama!

President Obama has issued an executive order to kill the proposed acquisition of semiconductor specialist Aixtron by Chinese investors. The White House on Friday put out the presidential order citing national security concerns in denying the $722m buyout by Aixtron SE by Grand Chip Investment GMBH. The order suggests that …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Dec 2016
Donald Trump thumbs up photo via Shutterstock

VCs to Trump: You know what would really make America great? Tax breaks for VCs

A group of venture capitalists are asking US President-elect Donald Trump to implement a series of tax cuts and policies they say will bring more funding for startups. In a letter (PDF) to the real-estate mogul turned-politician, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) asks for tax breaks for ventural capital companies …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Dec 2016
iPhone 6S battery

Apple blames air for iPhone 6S's narcolepsy

Apple says a defect caused during manufacturing is to blame for some iPhones randomly shutting themselves down. The Cupertino giant said in a support article that some iPhone 6S handsets have batteries that degrade much faster than expected and tend to shut themselves off when the batt is at 30 per cent charge. "We found that …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Dec 2016

'AWS is fast, punches above its weight, stings Oracle, but no knockout'

AWS re:Invent Amazon made news in a big way this week, kicking out more than a dozen new features and services for the AWS cloud at its annual re:Invent conference. The Bezos money machine announced products ranging from database offerings to DDoS protection and developer tools at its annual cloud compute summit. While industry analysts …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Dec 2016

AWS CTO: 'I truly hated the relationship with software tool vendors'

AWS re:Invent Amazon Web Services turned its focus to developers in day two of its re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, kicking out a handful of new features designed to make life easier for those who develop and maintain cloud applications. CTO Werner Vogels said that the features, ranging from new analysis utilities to storage management …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Dec 2016
milhouse_vs_nelson_648

No, Andy, AWS and Oracle aren't in a database death match

AWS re:Invent Speaking at his opening keynote for the 2016 re:Invent conference, AWS chief Andy Jassy made a point of going after Oracle. The repeated jabs at the Redwood City goliath and its iconic boss Larry Ellison came fast as Jassy showed off new AWS database offerings, and raised speculation that perhaps AWS and Oracle would be going …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Dec 2016
Amazon Web Services

Custom silicon, 9PB storage boxes, and 25Gb Ethernet – just another day in AWS hardware

AWS re:Invent AWS says it has moved into building its own silicon to help deliver the throughput for its massive cloud service. The profitable side of the Amazon empire says it has started using a custom-designed Annapurna ASIC chip to help control the networking activity – both physical and SDN – in its AWS servers. This is freeing up the …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Nov 2016

What you need to know from re:Invent – FPGAs-as-a-service and more

AWS re:Invent At its re:Invent conference in Las Vegas today, Amazon Web Services tipped its hand to reveal its battle plan for invading new markets. The Jeff Bezos cash machine has kicked out a laundry list of new services and virtual machine instances for AI applications, databases, and software that requires specialized hardware …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Nov 2016
Chad Kroeger of rock band Nickelback

Has Canadian justice gone too far? Cops punish drunk drivers with NICKELBACK

Police in Canada says it will be punishing drunk drivers by not only arresting them, but forcing them to listen to corporate boy band Nickelback on the way to the cop shop. A Facebook post from the Kensington Police Department of Prince Edward Island warns would-be partiers in the Great White North to avoid getting behind the …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Nov 2016
Confused/annoyed looking man looks irritated during outage. Photo via Shutterstock

Google's Chromecast Audio busted BT home routers – now it has a fix

Google has kicked out a workaround of sorts for Chromecast Audio devices that have been causing BT routers to constantly reset themselves. The Mountain View ads giant is advising BT subscribers to, if possible, find another router they can use to connect their Chromecast Audio unit to in order to get the latest version of the …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Nov 2016
Photo by Diabluses / Shutterstock

Netflix and spill: Web vid giant kills password masking in tests

Netflix is testing a new feature that, for some subscribers, shows their passwords in plain text as they are typed in – and potentially when folks revisit the site. The temporary design tweak, which Netflix says is supposed to help fat-fingered users correctly enter their passwords, does not star out characters as they are …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Nov 2016

Behold, your next billion dollar market: The humble Ethernet cable

Global spending on Ethernet cables will soon cross the $1bn threshold, say analysts. A forecast report from Allied Market Research projects that by 2022, businesses will be shelling out more than a billion dollars annually on copper and fiber cables to transmit data and power. The figures include the spend on fiber and copper …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Nov 2016

Allow us to sum this up: UK ISP Plusnet minus net for nine-plus hours

For the past nine hours or so today, bungling Brit broadband ISP Plusnet's internet service has been rather wobbly – with network packet loss wrecking some connections. This lack of stable connectivity for unlucky punters will hit things like online video and voice calls, gaming and streaming the most. Uptime-adverse Plusnet …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Nov 2016
Three store maidenhead

Three CEO confirms hack, 133,827 customers were exposed

The CEO of UK carrier Three Mobile has confirmed that a customer database was compromised by hackers and more than 130,000 customers have had their account data exposed. David Dyson says that the hackers, believed to be two men from Kent and Manchester, had indeed accessed the customer directory and used the information – …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Nov 2016

AWS shines light on Virginia solar scheme

Amazon is planning to open five new solar power farms to help run its AWS cloud data centers. The five latest facilities will be located in Virginia and will feed electricity to the US East regional cloud centers in Virginia and Ohio. Amazon said the new panels will be set up in New Kent, Buckingham, Sussex, Powhatan, and …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Nov 2016
shutterstock_mobile_theft_648

Three Mobile, two alleged hackers, one big customer database heist

UK carrier Three Mobile was the victim of a hacking scheme that has reportedly left the records of millions of customers exposed. According to multiple UK media reports citing both Three and the National Crime Agency (NCA), hackers gained access to a Three database containing the account details of possibly six million …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Nov 2016