Shaun Nichols

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Alleged buggy software wrongly flunks wannabe lawyers from bar exam. What happened next won't shock you

Updated A California software company is being sued after its product mistakenly flunked more than 90 would-be attorneys taking their bar exam. The class-action lawsuit was filed in a Georgia state court against ILG Information Technologies of Mountain View, California. It seeks damages on behalf of the law students who were told they …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Sep 2016

Gmail suffers worldwide wobbly Wednesday

Google has spent most of its day on Wednesday working to address ongoing problems around the world with its Gmail service. The Google Apps status page shows that since 0816 PT (1516 UTC) on Wednesday 14 September it has been dealing with issues that have been intermittently causing some users so be unable to use the webmail …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Sep 2016

Googler mad over cop scrap

A Google engineer is promising to take legal action after he says he was knocked about by police. Ali Afshar, Google engineering manager and former CTO of Microlink, claims he was driving in Silicon Valley (he wouldn't name the city or police department) when he spotted a man in handcuffs surrounded by four police officers. …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Sep 2016
A brick tunnel

Did you know iOS 10, macOS Sierra has a problem with crappy VPNs? You do now

With Apple's iOS 10 and macOS Sierra beta now out in the wild, one important non-feature of the OS is giving some network admins headaches. The latest version of the iPhone/iPad/Mac operating system, released ahead of the iPhone 7 launch, removes support for point-to-point tunneling protocol (PPTP) connections. This means that …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Sep 2016
barbie

Viacom, Mattel and pals busted for stalking kids with creepy web ads

A group of toy and children's entertainment giants have been lightly fined for letting advertisers illegally track kids online. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a group of state Attorneys General (AGs) have told Viacom, Mattel, Hasbro, and JumpStart to cough up some change for multiple violations of the Children's …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Sep 2016

Great British Block-Off: GCHQ floats plan to share its DNS filters

Officials with GCHQ are said to be mulling a plan that would extend the UK government's network security tools to private-sector ISPs. GCHQ director general for cyber security Ciaran Martin has been in Washington, DC, pitching the plan to arm the ISPs with firewall updates aimed at blocking off known bad actors. The project, …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Sep 2016

iOS 10 bricks iThings

Apple's iOS 10 update has knackered some people's iPhones and iPads, requiring the devices to be completely wiped to continue working. Affected folks found that after downloading and installing the operating system upgrade, an error message was shown instructing owners to plug their bricked iThing into a computer running …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Sep 2016

Using a thing made by Microsoft, Apple or Adobe? It probably needs a patch today

Mega Patch Tuesday Microsoft is wrapping up the summer with a dump of 14 bulletins for various security vulnerabilities in its products, while Apple and Adobe are following up with fixes of their own. The September edition of Patch Update Tuesday sees fixes released for critical issues in Windows, Windows Server, Internet Explorer, Edge, Flash …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Sep 2016

Ad flog Plus: Adblock Plus now an advertising network, takes cash to broker web banners

The maker of ad-busting plugin Adblock Plus (ABP) has opened up a market to let publishers and advertisers link up on ads that it will not filter out. A new "Acceptable Ads Platform" (AAP) marketplace will allow advertisers to pay to get around the ABP settings, while also providing site owners and publishers the ability to …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Sep 2016
Samsung SUHD 5K TVs

Phones exploding in kids' hands, shares tanking – but it's not all good news at Samsung

Samsung is continuing to take a beating in the market as it staggers from the global recall of its Galaxy Note 7 handset. The Korean consumer electronics giant saw its stock price plummet 6.98 per cent on Monday to 1.46m Korean won per share. This resulted in roughly $15.9bn of value trimmed from Samsung's market cap on the …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Sep 2016

Pair cuffed for US gov hack

Two men have been arrested and charged as part of a 2015 campaign to hack US government officials. Andrew "INCURSIO" Boggs, 22, and Justin "D3F4ULT" Liverman, 24, both of North Carolina, face counts of felony conspiracy for their roles as part of the trans-Atlantic hacking group "Crackas with Attitude." The duo, along with at …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Sep 2016

Student charity's ex-IT boss in the cooler for stealing $1.3m through fake tech contracts

A former IT executive has been ordered to spend the next 45 months behind bars after he stole $1.3m from a charity in Virginia, US. Demetrius Arnold Washington, 51, of Louisa, must also pay back the mountain of dosh that he funneled into his pockets via bogus tech consultancies. He was jailed after pleading guilty to mail …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Sep 2016
Good clear controls

VW Dieselgate engineer sings like a canary: Entire design team was in on it – not just a few bad apples, allegedly

A Volkswagen engineer has agreed to spill the details of his involvement in the VW emissions scandal. Former engineer James Robert Liang took a plea deal with the US federal government to cooperate with its ongoing investigation of how the German carmaker cheated American emissions tests and passed off its "clean diesel" …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Sep 2016
Suckers

Seagate sued by its own staff for leaking personal info to identity thieves

Seagate is trying to fight off a lawsuit filed by employees whose personal information was lost when the storage giant was hit with a phishing attack. The company is in the midst of a hearing over whether the aggrieved workers have grounds to sue their employer for negligence after someone in human resources was duped into …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Sep 2016
A Corvette

Airbag bug forces GM to recall 4.3m vehicles – but eh, how about those self-driving cars, huh?

General Motors (GM) says a software bug has left as many as 4.3 million of its cars and trucks with potentially defective airbags. The US auto giant said that problems with the embedded software in the vehicles can cause the front airbags to fail to deploy in a crash. The bug resides in the software used to control the sensors …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Sep 2016
People whispering

US Congress blew the whistle on tax-dodging Apple, claims Europe

It was US Senators that tipped off the European Commission to unusual accounting practices at Apple which lead to its €13bn ($14.5bn) back-tax penalty. That's according to EC Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager who told the Copenhagen Business School her team was pointed to potential illegal tax breaks in Ireland by …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Sep 2016

WhatsApp, Apple and a hidden source code F-bomb: THE TRUTH

Facebook-owned chat app WhatsApp says viral screenshots of rude messages to Apple buried deep within its mobile application's code are not real. A spokesperson told The Register on Friday afternoon that the screenshots posted to Reddit showing log strings with the phrase "Fuck Apple" spread throughout were not taken from its …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Sep 2016
Galaxy Note 7 truck fire aftermath

Florida Man's prized jeep cremated by exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung's ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 is once again being blamed for causing a serious fire. A man in St Petersburg, Florida, claims that while charging inside his truck, the phablet combusted and caused a massive blaze that totalled his Jeep Grand Cherokee. Lydia Dornacher told Tampa Bay news station Fox 13 that she and her …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Sep 2016
Congress

Call to kill FBI spying powers

A prominent US Senator is standing up against rules to ease FBI surveillance restrictions. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) took to the floor Thursday to press the Senate to pass a law to stop proposed changes to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The changes would permit US district judges to allow the FBI to search …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Sep 2016
Twitter for Mac New

Save us, Jack Dorsey!

A US Senator is asking Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to help block what he sees as an attempt by Russia to influence US elections via Twitter. Delaware's Tom Carper (D) personally reached out to the Twitter boss over concerns about Russian "social cyberattacks" that would use sock puppet accounts to spread misinformation in the run- …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Sep 2016
Microscope

What's up, Zuck? FTC to probe Facebook for WhatsApp phone number mega-slurp

Facebook is facing an FTC probe after snatching millions of people's phone numbers from its WhatsApp subsidiary. Privacy rights warriors at EPIC have asked the US watchdog to investigate the personal data grab – and the commission says it will look into the matter. In a letter published by EPIC [PDF], the FTC told the privacy …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Sep 2016

HPE crams unloved software down Brits' throats – then charges them $9bn to swallow it

Hewlett Packard Enterprise will eject its non-core software business in what it calls an $8.8bn "spin merge" deal with UK-based Micro Focus. HPE's big data, security, and IT management products – including some of its ex-Autonomy assets – will be spun out into a new company that will merge with Micro Focus. That's a software …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Sep 2016
Pacemaker

St Jude sues short-selling MedSec over pacemaker 'hack' report

Medical device maker St Jude has filed suit against a security startup that shorted its stock and publicized alleged flaws in its products for profit. Pacemaker supplier St Jude has sued both MedSec and investment research biz Muddy Waters in Minnesota, America, as well as three other individuals it says falsely reported …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Sep 2016

Pains us to run an Apple article without the words 'fined', 'guilty' or 'on fire' in it, but here we are

Apple held court in San Francisco on Tuesday to announce updates for the iPhone and Apple Watch lines. Speaking to a hand-picked crowd at the Bill Graham Auditorium (The Register was not invited), CEO Tim Cook showcased the annual updates for both the smartwatch and smartphone pieces of Apple's lineup. A very swimmable Apple …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Sep 2016

Intel Basis fans burned again: Refund checks for scalding smartwatches bounce

Refund checks promised by Intel after recalling its ill-fated wrist-burning Basis smartwatches are bouncing for some unlucky punters. Amid a global safety recall, Basis Peak owners in the UK were offered a £184 refund to turn in their troublesome armslabs. Unfortunately, Chipzilla's payouts, delivered via Western Union, are …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Sep 2016