Shaun Nichols

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Don't let this snap-drag-on: Qualcomm waves white flag to Apple

The CEO of Qualcomm says he hopes to settle his company's licensing dispute with Apple out of court. Speaking at a conference in Aspen, Colorado, Steve Mollenkopf suggested the SnapDragon chip designer would push for a settlement rather than rely on a jury to determine if Apple was liable for back payment of royalties. "There …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jul 2017
My Friend Cayla and i-Que robot

2017: The FBI alerts parents to dangers of Internet of Sh*t toys

The FBI issued a warning Monday advising parents to carefully check internet-connected toys for possible privacy and security concerns. In this startling alert, the Feds gave America's families the grim news: many toys sporting cloud-backed features such as speech recognition or online content hosting "could put the privacy …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jul 2017

Apache says 'no' to Facebook code libraries

The Apache Foundation has declared that none of its new software projects can include Facebook's booby-trapped BSD-licensed code. The foundation's legal affairs director, Chris Mattmann, said over the weekend that libraries, frameworks and tools covered by Facebook's open-source-ish BSD-plus-Patents license should not be …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jul 2017

Cisco plugs command-injection hole in WebEx Chrome, Firefox plugins

Cisco has patched its Chrome and Firefox WebEx plugins to kill a bug that allows evil webpages to execute commands on computers. A malicious page, when visited by a vulnerable Windows machine, can exploit the security flaw (CVE-2017-6753) to run arbitrary commands and code with the same privileges as the browser. In other …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jul 2017

Funnily enough, charging ££££s for trashy bling-phones wasn't a great idea

Vertu, the British smartphone maker known for its obscenely expensive blinged-out handsets, will shut down over an apparent lack of interest in obscenely expensive blinged-out handsets. The bust biz, which did not return a request for comment, was wound up this week in London's High Court. It will liquidate assets and put …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jul 2017
A hand squeezing juice from an orange

Juicero does to its staff what your hands can do to its overpriced juice sacks

Internet-tethered juicer maker Juicero is axing 25 per cent of its staff as the startup tries to shake off its status as a Silicon Valley punchline. Employees were told this morning that the San Francisco startup would not only shed staff, but also try to cut the price of its internet-connected juice-extractor in order to go …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jul 2017
stock trader image

Top tip for all you insider traders: Don't Google 'insider trading' from your work PC

An MIT postdoctoral staffer was arrested and charged with insider trading after he allegedly searched online for tips on committing the crime. Fei Yan, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is accused of securities and wire fraud: he allegedly used information from his wife's law practice to make favorable stock trades that netted more …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jul 2017

All your bass are belong to us: Soundcloud fans raid site for music amid fears of total collapse

Music hosting biz SoundCloud, having just axed 40 per cent of its staff, is now trying to ward off rumors that it will go broke in less than two months. The song-sharing service was rumored to be in crisis mode and had to shut its doors, with just 50 days of funding left before it ran out of cash. A spokesperson insisted …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jul 2017
Alexa photo via Shutterstock

Amazon mumbles into its coffee when asked: Will you give app devs people's Alexa chats?

Amazon is apparently considering a plan to provide app developers with transcripts of people's conversations with their Alexa boxes. We're told the Bezos Bunch is mulling whether to change their developer policy to give the third-party coders who create Alexa "skills" app software the raw transcripts of what users say to Alexa …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jul 2017

1Password won't axe private vaults. It'll choke 'em to death instead

The maker of password manager 1Password says it will not force its users to stop using private password vaults – as it sweeps this local storage functionality under the rug. There was growing alarm in the computer security community this week that 1Password local vaults were going to be a thing of the past. Basically, if you …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jul 2017
Tommy Lee Jones delivers implied facepalm. From No Country for Old Men  Copyright Miramax Pictures. 2007.

Blue Cross? Blue crass: Health insurer thought it would be a great idea to mail plans on USB sticks

A US health insurer is taking heat for its decision to mail USB drives containing coverage information to businesses that offer its plans to employees. Alabama-based developer Thomas Gamble said he received a mailer from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama that included a USB key, along with instructions to insert the gadget …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jul 2017
A man diving from a cliff

Brickbat unwraps in lap of crap Snapchat yap app technocrat brats after stock splat mishap

Snap Inc is being sued by its shareholders who claim that executives misled investors about the value of SnapChat app maker ahead of its IPO earlier this year. The lawsuit [PDF], filed this month in the California Central US District Court, accuses Snap, CEO Evan Spiegel and CFO Drew Vollero of violating US securities laws. …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jul 2017

Uncle Sam says 'nyet' to Kaspersky amid fresh claims of Russian ties

Kaspersky Lab is facing new restrictions from the US government to go along with a fresh round of accusations that the antivirus makers works closely with Russian intelligence. The US General Services Administration (GSA), the agency that handles government IT purchases and subscriptions, has removed the Russian software …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jul 2017
Microsoft Lumia 640 Windows Phone

Got a Windows Phone 8 mobe? It's now officially obsolete. Here's why...

Microsoft has formally ended support for its Windows Phone platform. Tuesday's monthly software update release marked the official end of support for Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft's last release under the Windows Phone moniker. This means an end to patches and technical support. "There will be no new security updates, non- …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jul 2017
Microsoft's HoloLens Augmented Reality headset

It's July 2017 – and your expensive HoloLens can be pwned over Wi-Fi

Patch Tuesday Microsoft's HoloLens may only be in the hands of developers, but that hasn't stopped researchers from finding major security holes in the augmented reality headset. Critical fixes for HoloLens were among the 57 CVE-listed flaws Redmond had to address in this month's edition of Patch Tuesday. Of the 57 bugs blasted in various …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jul 2017

Oracle, Amazon, Google, and Salesforce finally agree on something

Some of the biggest names in IT are joining forces to create a lobbying effort focused on patent reform in the US. The High Tech Innovators Alliance (HTIA) is backed by eight tech giants that will lend their money and expertise to getting new laws and rules passed to make it more difficult for patent trolls to sue them and …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jul 2017
Facepalm from Shutterstock

Two-factor FAIL: Chap gets pwned after 'AT&T falls for hacker tricks'

A software developer says a thief siphoned cash from his PayPal account – after a dumbass AT&T rep handed control of his cellphone account to a hacker, thus defeating his two-factor authentication. Justin Williams, an iOS code jockey based in Denver, Colorado, said someone was able to dupe an AT&T support tech into assigning …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jul 2017
Microsoft Azure

Azure stacks, Office packs – and VR flacks: Here's Microsoft's Inspire news dump

Microsoft did more than just mash up Office and Windows on Monday at its Inspire conference in the US. The Redmond colossus has also, after years of waiting, announced the first shipments of its on-premises Azure-in-a-box technology, plus a set of Office 365 services aimed at small- and medium-sized businesses, and a program …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jul 2017
Bernd's Oracle employee badge

'My dream job at Oracle left me homeless!' – A techie's relocation horror tale

When Bernd Dorfmueller was offered a job in Amsterdam with Oracle, he thought he had lucked into a dream situation that would boost his professional career in IT. Weeks later, the former network admin was homeless, in debt, and without health insurance. The experienced techie says his story began back in March when, while …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jul 2017
Waymo self-driving minivan

Waymo now way less: Robo-ride upstart drops patents in Uber battle

Waymo has dropped three of the patent claims it had been pursuing against Uber and will instead focus on nailing the taxi app maker for trade secret theft. The Alphabet-owned self-driving car upstart said in a filing [PDF] in California on Friday that it would drop allegations of patent infringement with prejudice. The now- …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Jul 2017

Jaw-boned: Wearables biz Jawbone shuts down

Gizmo maker Jawbone is shutting down operations and will liquidate its assets. Although the San Francisco-based upstart has yet to issue a formal statement, a well-placed source said the peripherals slinger will shut up shop and flog off any remaining gear. We're told CEO Hosain Rahman will move on to a new medical startup …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Jul 2017

Well, that escalated quickly: Qualcomm demands iPhone, iPad sales ban in America

Qualcomm is upping the stakes in its legal war against Apple by accusing the Cupertino idiot-tax operation of infringing six patents. The California chip designer today said iPhones and iPads using Intel's 4G wireless chips are effectively using a half-dozen Qualcomm inventions without permission. Now, Qualcomm is asking the …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Jul 2017
Trump Pepper, photo by Janet Ayers

Trump's CNN tantrum could delay $85bn AT&T-Time Warner merger

The very public war of words – and GIFs – between the President of the United States and CNN could pose a threat to the $85bn merger between AT&T and Time Warner. Apparently, White House advisors have been looking at using approval of the merger as a "potential point of leverage" over the news network. While the two media …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Jul 2017
The Vancouver, CA skyline

Get the Canuck out: Vancouver vows Airbnb, Expedia crackdown

The city of Vancouver, Canada, is pushing a set of reforms to hit back against a housing shortage it blames in part on Airbnb and Expedia. The Pacific coast city said it plans to require home and apartment building owners who rent out their residences on short-term rental websites – like Airbnb and Expedia – to cough up an …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Jul 2017
Oracle balloons photo via Shutterstock

U wot M8? Oracle chip designers quietly work on new SPARC CPU

Oracle engineers are seemingly working on a new SPARC processor: the M8. This is judging from a series of patches submitted by Oracle developer Jose Marchesi to the widely used free-as-in-freedom compiler toolkit GCC. The code "adds support for the SPARC M8 processor to GCC. The SPARC M8 processor implements the Oracle SPARC …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Jul 2017

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