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Shaun Nichols

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Google Glass faces UK cinema ban: Heaven forbid someone films you crying in a rom-com

Moviegoers in the UK will be asked to remove their Google Glasses and similar camera-fitted wearable computers over privacy and piracy fears. The Cinema Exhibitors Association (CEA) – which represents virtually all theaters in Blighty – fears bootleggers will don the devices to record and illegally distribute films. As such, …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Jun 2014
Photo of Apple iPhone 5C in a range of colors

Walmart in iPhone 5s, 5c price slash – gotta make room for that 'iPhone 6', right?

Walmart has cut the prices of iPhone 5 handsets in its stores to, it's assumed, make way for Apple's next smartphone. The retail goliath on Friday slashed the cost of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c smartphones when users purchase a two-year mobile contract. The 16GB iPhone 5c will now start at just $29, down from a previous price …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jun 2014
Apple's Aperture

Apple abruptly axes Aperture ... Adobe anxiously awaits arrivals

Apple is reportedly ending development of its Aperture photo-tweaking software. The iThing maker said on Friday, via The Loop, that it will be ending development of Aperture and, starting next year, migrating users to its Photos application. Designed as a pro counterpart for iPhoto, Aperture was introduced in 2005. The …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jun 2014
Airship over NSA datacenter

Who gives a F about privacy? New scorecard rates US pols on spying

Civil-rights groups and other campaigners have built a website that tracks US politicians' voting records on privacy laws. Members of the bipartisan outfit Stand Against Spying say their scorecard database will publish an overview and tracker of how senators and representatives in Congress vote for or against key issues on …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Jun 2014
The line for the Apple iPhone - not the cable car.

App maker defends selling S.F. parking spots as a FREE SPEECH issue

The head of embattled app-maker MonkeyParking says the city of San Francisco is violating the US Constitution by ordering the company to shut down its parking application. Paolo Dobrowolny, CEO and cofounder of the company, said that the cease and desist order delivered by City Attorney Dennis Herrera misunderstands how the App …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jun 2014
ipod touch

Hey, remember the iPod Touch? Apple just did

Apple is now touting a cheaper iPod Touch with a better camera. The iThing giant said the 16GB iPod Touch model will now come with a five-megapixel iSight camera as well as a price drop, which will see the entry-level Zune-killer fall from $229 to $199 (£159). The 32GB $249 (£199) and 64GB $299 (£249) models will remain …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jun 2014

You are ALL Americans now: Europeans offered same rights as US folks in data slurp leaks

US Attorney General Eric Holder has raised a few eyebrows by announcing plans to give Europeans the same legal protections as US citizens when Uncle Sam's agents seek their private information. Holder claimed the Obama administration would put forth legislation to offer EU citizens the same data protection rights and access to …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jun 2014
Supreme Court Building

US Supremes just blew Aereo out of the water

The US Supreme Court has ruled against TV-streaming biz Aereo in its copyright case with US broadcasters. The 6-3 opinion (PDF) upholds a lower court ruling that found the company in violation of US copyright law. Aereo essentially has data centers in ten US cities, each fitted with miniature antennas and hardware that pick up …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jun 2014
Data breach image

Montana loses data on MORE PEOPLE THAN LIVE IN MONTANA

The state of Montana is warning citizens and offering free credit monitoring and identity protection service after a data breach exposed information on 1.3 million people. The state Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) is providing notification to citizens after hackers breached one of the department's servers …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jun 2014
white dwarf star

Shine on you crazy diamond: Distant dwarf may hide space jewel

Astronomers say they have discovered a white dwarf star that could be the coldest of its type ever detected. The boffins said that the dwarf star resides alongside the pulsar PSR J2222-0137 and could hold at its core a diamond the size of the earth. Estimates would place the star's age at 11 billion years, roughly the same as …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jun 2014
Bitcoin bloodbath

Got a botnet? Thinking of using it to mine Bitcoin? Don't bother

Despite an increase in popularity over recent months amongst botnet operators, malware-powered Bitcoin mining brings little to no financial return, say experts. Security giant McAfee contends in its quarterly threat report (PDF) that commercial botnet controllers and malware packages have been adding cryptocurrency mining …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jun 2014

Lync users see outages as Microsoft wrangles with network problems

Microsoft is scrambling to fix its Lync service after network problems left the platform inaccessible to users. The company said Monday afternoon that it was dealing with what it called "routing infrastrcture issues" in attempting to restore service to the unified communications platform. RT @Office365 We realize some Lync …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jun 2014
San Francisco cable car

San Francisco issues SMACKDOWN on parking spot sale software

San Francisco city officials are cracking down on mobile applications that allow users to buy and sell public parking spaces. City Attorney Dennis Herrera said Monday that his office had sent a cease-and-desist notice to the developers of Monkey Parking, a mobile app which lets users sell their public parking spaces in crowded …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jun 2014
Surface Pro 3 cracked screen from iFixit

DISPLAY DESTRUCTION D'OH! Teardown cracks Surface Pro 3 screen

Microsoft has pitched its Surface Pro 3 as a "tablet that can replace your laptop." That is unless, it seems, you want to repair or upgrade your laptop. Teardown specialists iFixit have posted their initial dissection of the latest Redmond tablet, and they've concluded that the surface on the Surface is poor for service. The …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jun 2014

Congress passes crackdown on NSA surveillance

The US House of Representatives has passed a measure aimed at limiting the NSA's ability to access personal data and conduct surveillance. The House on Thursday voted to approve an amendment to the 2015 Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 4870) seeking to prevent warrantless collection of data from government …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jun 2014

#YO_NO! Messaging app 'Yo' gets hit by hackers

Just days after the Yo app debuted to much fanfare (and head-scratching), the mono-message social tool has fallen prey to hackers. A group of students from Georgia Tech University claim via TechCrunch to have accessed the application's entire user database, and gained the ability to obtain the phone number of anyone currently …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jun 2014
eworld

20 years on: eWorld, Apple's spectacular online 'portal' failure

On June 20, 1994, Apple launched eWorld. The ambitious project sought to link Mac owners into an online community, connecting with one another and the Cupertinian mothership. Less than two years later, the project was dead. Customers were handed over to America Online and the plug was pulled at midnight on March 31, 1996. In …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jun 2014

US spanks phone-jamming vendor with $34.9 MEEELLION fine

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a $34.9 million fine against a Chinese firm it says is selling illegal phone-jamming equipment to US consumers. The FCC said that it is seeking the penalties against Shenzen-based C.T.S. Technology, and has issued a cease-and-desist order halting sales in the US and …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jun 2014
BitPay Bowl

US footballers set to vie for BITCOIN BOWL

The cryptocurrency world has struck another high-profile sponsorship deal: this year two US college football teams will compete in the Bitcoin Bowl. Payments firm BitPay says that it had agreed to sponsor the game for three years, this year to be played on December 26 in St. Petersburg, Florida. The sponsorship deal will include …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Jun 2014

US Supremes UPHOLD troll-busting Alice v CLS Bank decision

The US Supreme Court has once again unanimously decided against a dubious patent-infringement claim, and won the praise of patent-reform advocates. The court on Thursday upheld a Federal Circuit Court decision to strike down infringement claims by Alice Corp. in its case against CLS Bank. The ruling denies claims on patents …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Jun 2014

FCC boss says he'll SHAME broadband firms for fibbing on speeds

Federal Communications Commission boss Tom Wheeler has said that he will issue written warnings to some US broadband carriers following an investigation that found some companies are still not delivering advertised speeds. Wheeler said that while the broadband market as a whole is doing a better job of offering users promised …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jun 2014
Apple iMac

Want a cheap iMac? TOO BAD. But you can have a slow one for $1,099

Apple is adding a lower price point to its iMac line with the introduction of a $1,099 (£899) model, which drops the entry level on the all-in-one line by $200. The company said that the new model would sport the same 21.5-inch display as the other iMac configurations while being equipped with cheaper internal hardware. Where …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jun 2014

Hey! Where! are! the! white! women! at!? It's! Yahoo!

Yahoo! is the latest web giant to reveal figures on the diversity of its workforce. The Purple Palace published the report online on Tuesday, breaking down its employees along both gender and ethnicity lines in its tech, non-tech and leadership divisions. Much like Google, Yahoo! has fielded a workforce which is, by and large, …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jun 2014
Evil Android

Researchers warn of preloaded spyware in Android handsets

Security firm G-Data is warning users about their discovery of malware shipping preinstalled on some Chinese mobile phones. The German researchers said that they followed up on customer tips to study the Star N9500 mobile phone. The handsets, sold on eBay and many other online retail sites, are said to primarily be shipped out …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jun 2014

Democrats pitch long-shot bid for FCC ban on prioritization deals

A group of Democrats in Congress have drafted a bill to bar the FCC from allowing "fast lane" prioritization deals. Dubbed the "Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act," the legislation would call on the FCC to ban carriers from making the paid prioritization deals in which content providers pay service providers to receive …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jun 2014
Mobile phone stolen by pickpocket

AT&T: 'twas conniving contractors who nicked your info

AT&T is warning customers that their personal information might have been breached as part of a scheme to unlock and resell devices. The company said in a filing to the California Attorney General's office that employees at an unnamed service provider it works with had accessed the personal data of customers including social …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jun 2014

FCC launches probe into Verizon/Netflix spat

The Federal Communications Commision (FCC) has announced it will investigate whether Verizon deliberately slowed traffic from Netflix. Chairman Tom Wheeler issued a statement on Friday that the commission will "collect information" on how the ISP handled traffic from the streaming video service as the two firms were negotiating …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jun 2014
Microsoft Kinect

Yet another reason to skip commercials: Microsoft ad TURNS ON your Xbox One

Xbox One users are complaining that Microsoft's newest ad for the console is randomly activating their systems. The advertisement in question features television star Aaron Paul navigating the console via voice commands. The Breaking Bad star speaks praise of the console while enjoying a game of Titanfall and a bit of television …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jun 2014
The new Twitter logo. Pic: Twitter

Tumultuous Twitter torches top talent, topples COO

Twitter has announced that its chief operating officer (COO) will be leaving the company and will not be replaced. The company issued a 407 character (2.9 Tweet) statement [PDF] to the US Securities and Exchange Commission to inform that Ali Rowghani had resigned from his position and would be moving to an advisory role. …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jun 2014
Tesla's Elon Musk

Car titans WON'T STEAL our tech, says Musk: DAMNIT, I'll GIVE IT to 'em

Tesla boss Elon Musk has announced that the electric car company is opening up its patent portfolio for use by rival carmaking firms. The PayPal/SpaceX/Tesla tycoon said that the firm will make its patent holdings available to others and will not file suit against companies who use its patented technology in what Musk terms " …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jun 2014

AT&T: We will right many of world's wrongs if allowed to slurp DirecTV

AT&T says that it will expand its broadband network, promote net neutrality, and clean its room every single day if the US Federal Communications Commission approves its bid to acquire satellite-television firm DirecTV. The company said in a filing to the commission that should the $49bn mega-deal go through, the company will …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jun 2014

FCC boss threatens to BRING WRATH DOWN on states that limit broadband competition

The head of the US Federal Communications Commission has threatened to take action against states that limit the ability of cities to build their own broadband networks. Chairman Tom Wheeler said that the commission is prepared to overrule state laws that would restrict cities from deploying community-funded broadband networks …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jun 2014
management regulation1

Microsoft challenges US gov over attempts to search overseas data

Microsoft has challenged a ruling that would allow US government authorities to search its overseas facilities. The company said in a petition filed to the US District Court for Southern New York that it objects to an order that would allow law enforcement to search all Microsoft-owned facilities worldwide. At the heart of the …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jun 2014

MAC MEN: Apple hiring 1,000 people for internal ad operation

Apple is reportedly looking to hire up to a thousand people as part of a massive in-house advertising operation. AdAge cited industry sources when reporting that the Cupertino giant was in the process of building a 1,000-person internal advertising operation that would compete with outside advertising agencies to produce the …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jun 2014
Image from Google's Street Art collection

Put down that sandblaster: Google adds street art to online gallery

Google is adding a street art collection into its Art Project archives. The company said on Tuesday that it will be opening up the Art Project, part of its Cultural Institute site, to a collection of 5,000 pieces of street art. The Street Art collection, currently featured as a special project on the site, will include location …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jun 2014

Redmond patches 66 flaws on Patch Tuesday

Microsoft has released updates for critical flaws in Word, Office, and Internet Explorer, along with firmware updates for its Surface 2 tablet line. Redmond said that the June edition of Patch Tuesday would address a total of 66 common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVE)–class vulns, most of them in Internet Explorer. In total …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jun 2014
Image via Chicago Sun Times

Facial recognition tech convicts man in Chicago robbery case

A Chicago man has received a 22-year prison sentence after becoming the first person to be convicted with evidence from the city's facial recognition technology. Pierre Martin was sentenced Monday for a pair of armed robberies carried out on the Chicago Transit Authority train system. The incidents occurred in January and …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jun 2014
GoDaddy

GoDaddy to try to GoPublic – again – with $100 million IPO

US-based internet domain registrar GoDaddy is planning to file an initial public offering (IPO) through which it hopes to raise as much as $100m. The company on Monday filed documents with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) indicating that it plans to open its shares to the public later this year. Morgan Stanley, JP …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jun 2014

Netflix agrees to end network warnings in Verizon slowdown spat

Netflix is backing down in its battle with Verizon over the speed of its streaming video service on the carrier's network, albeit just a little. A Monday post to the Netflix US and Canada blog said that the company will stop issuing users error messages blaming carriers for slow performance, saying the notifications were part of …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Jun 2014
Chromebook pixel

Google to let Chromebookers take video content OFFLINE

Google has released a plugin for its Chrome OS platform that will allow users to view video content from the Play Store without the need for an internet connection. The company said that the Google Play Movies & TV Chrome app will now support local storage and playback of video, allowing users to view content from the Play …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Jun 2014

Report pegs Apple for October smartwatch release

Apple is reportedly targeting an October release for its much-rumored smartwatch. A report from Nikkei cites industry sources who claim that the maker of various iStuffs will have its wrist-mounted fanboi magnet hit the shelves in time for the holiday shopping season. The report claims that Apple is already working with …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Jun 2014
Uber logo

UBER UBER ALLES: Investors value ride app at $17 BEEELLION

Designer taxi purveyor Uber has inked an investment deal which will value the company at three times the combined salary of every taxi driver and chauffeur in the United States. The company confirmed Friday that it had secured $1.2bn in funding from investors, valuing the company at $17bn. While Uber did not say who had …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Jun 2014

Office, IE and Windows in line for critical fixes from Redmond

Microsoft is planning to deliver seven bulletins next week in its scheduled monthly update. The company has posted its advance notification for the upcoming Patch Tuesday security release, which it said will consist of two critical bulletins and five others rated as important. According to Microsoft, the critical bulletins will …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Jun 2014
Tools in Office Touch

First iOS, now Android to get fondleslab Office ahead of Windows

Microsoft is reportedly developing a tablet-optimized version of Office for Android devices, and it is scheduled to arrive before the Windows version. Veteran Redmond beat writer Mary Jo Foley cited company sources in reporting that Microsoft was planning to release a Windows tablet-optimized version of Office in the Spring of …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Jun 2014

Verizon threatens Netflix in video lag blame game

Verizon is threatening legal action against Netflix after the streaming video service began streaming error messages that blame Verizon for slow network traffic. The telecom giant has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Netflix, demanding that the company stop sending its users notification messages that point the finger at …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Jun 2014
TrackingPoint ShotView on Glass

Gunmaker finds KILLER APP for Google Glass

A US firearms manufacturer is touting a system that would allow a shooter to aim and fire a device via a wearable headset such as Google Glass. TrackingPoint said that its ShotView software could be used with wearable headsets, mobile phones, or tablets to provide a direct feed with video and data from its Precision Guided …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Jun 2014
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Women found just TWO out of every HUNDRED US tech startups

Just 2 per cent of US technology startups and less than 1 per cent of UK startups are founded by a female entrepreneur, according to researchers. A study from the Global Entrepreneurship Development Institute (GEDI – which we're told is pronounced "Jedi") found that while gender inequality amongst entrepreneurs exists in all …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Jun 2014

Net neut supporters CRASH FCC WEBSITE with message deluge

A protest campaign in support of net neutrality provisions has overwhelmed the the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website. The commission briefly saw its public comments service go down on Monday, one day after comedian John Oliver delivered an extended rant in support of net neutrality on his evening program Last Week …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Jun 2014

Google: OK world, make our 'End-to-End' crypto tool SPOOK PROOF

Google has released the source code for an encryption plugin for Chrome that makes the secure sending of email easier. The web giant said its End-to-End Chrome plugin, currently in alpha development status, will provide a secure method for transmitting data between users, with data encrypted locally in a user's browser and …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Jun 2014
Dell Venue 8 tablet

Dell bulks up its low end with tablet and convertible updates

Dell has delivered a kick in the pants to its Venue tablets and Inspiron convertibles with the addition of new processors and configuration options. Additionally, new accessories for the tablets and the option for Ubuntu OS configurations on the convertibles were unveiled as part of the rollout at the Computex show in Taipei. …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Jun 2014