Shaun Nichols

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Still using Adobe Flash? Oh well, get updating: 15 hijack flaws patched

People still using Adobe Flash should update the plugin after the Photoshop giant patched 15 remote-code execution holes in its screen-door software. If hackers aren't already exploiting all these holes in the wild, they soon will be. The remote-code exec bugs allow miscreants to hijack vulnerable Windows, OS X and Linux …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Feb 2015

Zoinks! Is that Mystery Machine Apple's SELF-DRIVING FAMILY WAGON? You decide

A dark blue van rented by Apple has been fitted with cameras and is roaming the streets of northern California. According to CBS SF Bay Area, the Cupertino goliath is behind a mystery vehicle spotted in the city of Concord, east of San Francisco. The Dodge minivan, which Department of Motor Vehicles documents show is leased to …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Feb 2015
Silhouette of spy discerning password from code uses a command on graphic user interface

US anti-backdoor bill: If at first you're shot down in flames – try, try again

Lawmakers in the US are making an effort to revive legislation that would ban government agencies from demanding backdoor access to hardware, websites and software. Under the proposed Secure Data Act, developers cannot be forced to insert security holes into devices and code. The FBI, for one, would like to use such flaws to …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Feb 2015
3D graphics

Valve set for OpenGL BIG REVEAL at upcoming conference

Games giant Valve says it will release details about a promised successor to the OpenGL graphics API at a conference in San Francisco next month. The company has scheduled a session for March 5 at the Games Developer Conference where it will talk about the new release of the graphics API in a presentation called glNext: The …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Feb 2015
Bill Gates Reddit video

Reddit: Don't worry, we didn't tell that foreign government about your /r/brony addiction

4chan-with-karma-points Reddit has published its first dossier on government demands for users' private records – and the stupidly popular messageboard says it handed over the goods 32 times last year. According to the website's transparency report for 2014, world governments asked for Redditors' details just 55 times, peanuts …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Jan 2015
Nokia Lumia 930

Mobile broadband giants blow $45bn on Uncle Sam's finest air

Cell networks in the US have spent $44.9bn buying the rights to use a chunk of the American government's airwaves for wireless broadband networks. The FCC has just finished auctioning off the frequencies in its latest Advanced Wireless Services sale, dubbed AWS-3. It had hoped to bank just $10bn from the selloff to help line the …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jan 2015
Comcast bill for Asshole Brown

How's this for customer service: Comcast calls bloke an A**HOLE – and even puts it in print

A Washington woman in the US has revealed how Comcast made her husband the butt of a joke – by changing his name to "Asshole" on their account. Journalist Christopher Elliott reports that Lisa Brown contacted him after a Comcast employee changed her hubby Ricardo's name on their records to "Asshole Brown" – as is clear in the …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jan 2015
Amazon Web Services

Amazon's new WorkMail for enterprise: Another Fire dud – or a Kindle?

Amazon Web Services is touting a cloud-hosted email system to the world of big business. The web giant hopes to invade the enterprise email sector with a web-based service called WorkMail, and gobble up companies running Microsoft Exchange. AWS said the off-premises, cloud-based software will provide email and shared calendars …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jan 2015
Angry woman on mobile

Listen up, AT&T, this could be YOU NEXT: $40m sting for throttling 'unlimited' mobile data

The FTC has reached a settlement with TracFone in what could be the first of many refunds for screwed-over customers with so-called unlimited data plans. The US regulator said the cell network must pay back $40m to customers who used its prepaid unlimited data plan and found their connections deliberately strangled, stretching …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jan 2015

Fanbois to gamebois: Apple paperwork reveals iOS FUNPAD

Apple has been granted a patent in the US on a gaming controller pad for iOS-powered things. The iPhone giant's "novel" design describes a device with directional pads, buttons and speakers (that doesn't sound familiar at all.) Rather than include a display, the controller would have an open slot into which an iOS device could …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jan 2015
Apple Watch

Horrifying iPhone sales bring Apple $18bn profit A QUARTER

Apple chief exec Tim Cook has said his company's smartwatch won't go on sale until April – not that he's too fussed about the delay, given Apple has banked $18 BILLION in profit since October. Speaking during the iPhone giant's quarterly earnings call, Cook narrowed down the date, pushing the boundaries of the "early 2015" …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jan 2015
Google Fiber

Google reveals where AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable will next offer Gbps broadband

Google has named the next four areas in the US to get its gigabit-a-second fiber broadband. The advertising giant said on Tuesday it will next roll out high-speed connections to 18 cities in and around Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, NC; Raleigh-Durham, NC; and Nashville, TN. Charlotte city officials had indicated they were expecting …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Jan 2015

Wikileaks: We DO NOT approve of OUR secret stuff being LEAKED

WikiLeaks is demanding answers from Google after learning that the company handed user information to the FBI and didn't acknowledge the incident for more than two years. The whisteblowing site on Monday issued an open letter to Eric Schmidt asking the former Google CEO and current chairman to explain when and where it gave law …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Jan 2015
Google Fiber

Charlotte, NC thinks it has won the Google Fiber lottery

Officials in Charlotte, North Carolina believe they will be the next to enjoy Google Fiber. Multiple reports from local media show that city officials plan to meet with the Chocolate Factory later this week on what is expected to be an announcement that the Google broadband service is coming to Charlotte. The company has yet to …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jan 2015

Nexus 6 would have had a fingerprint reader, but Apple RUINED IT ALL

The former CEO of Motorola Mobility says the company's Nexus 6 phablet would have been a nicer piece of kit, were it not for Apple's inteference. Speaking in an interview with The Telegraph, Dennis Woodside said that his company was in the process of putting a fingerprint reader on its newest six-inch phone when Cook & Co …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jan 2015
X-wings extended on the Falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX makes nice with U.S. Air Force, gets shot at black ops launches

Private rocket firm SpaceX has settled its feud with the US Air Force over the rights to launch national security payloads. The company said that it would be able to compete with United Launch Alliance (ULA) for the ability to launch spy satellites. "Going forward, the Air Force will conduct competitions consistent with the …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jan 2015
Eiffel Tower Shenzhen day

China 'upgrades' Great Firewall. Oh SNAP! There goes VPN access

China's notorious "Great Firewall" is being blamed for widespread reports of virtual private network (VPN) outages in that country. China's Global Times – an English-language subsidiary of the state-run People's Daily – reports that customers of several prominent VPN services based outside the Middle Kingdom have complained that …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jan 2015
Ship your enemies glitter

Bloke claims someone paid him 85,000 for a web glitter bomb factory

We are all in the wrong business, it seems. An Australian man is bragging that he just bagged $85,000 by selling a new website that claims to send out packets of glitter to people. Mathew Carpenter, 22, says he sold off ShipYourEnemiesGlitter.com to an anonymous buyer, who won it in an auction on Flippa.com. As its name would …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jan 2015
Beats Music The Sentence

Apple's Beats, Google, and Sony hammered with unpaid royalty claim

New Apple toy Beats Electronics, along with Sony and Google, are among the targets of a lawsuit over claims of unpaid royalties. A New York publisher is suing the companies for failing to pay it royalties on songs published before 1972, the year US copyright law was updated to cover sound recordings. Zenbu Magazines claims that …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jan 2015
Kim Dotcom at the NZ parliamentary hearing

Kim Dotcom flails desperately, launches chat service

Kim Dotcom has set off on his new service to challenge Skype and other video platforms. The Megaupload boss has put forth the beta release of his MegaChat service with a Tweet: #MegaChat beta step by step. Starting with video calling today. Text chat & video conferencing will follow soon. — Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) January 22, …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jan 2015
Scotty print

Beam me up, Scotty, And VAPORIZE me in the process

Researchers in Germany have formulated a way to transfer information to a 3D printer on a one-time purchase basis, by killing off the original. The developers of "Scotty" believe that their development can allow 3D printing on a one-time use basis by destroying the object as it is scanned. The boffins attached a Raspberry Pi to …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jan 2015
Red-haired child in glasses looks thoughtful. Image via Shutterstock -  Copyright: Sofi photo

Brain-train kid game settles with FTC over 'unsupported' claims

The US Federal Trade Commission has struck a settlement with an educational games developer over a complaint regarding its claims about the effectiveness of its products. The FTC had accused Focus Education of loading its commercials with misleading claims that the company's software would improve the focus, attention and memory …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jan 2015
Crop of doctor with pen and clipboard

Turn your head and cough (up your details), HealthCare.Gov has sprung a leak!

Researchers have spotted a security lapse on the healthcare.gov site that leaves users vulnerable to data harvesting. The Associated Press and the EFF report that the site is providing some personal information about visitors to third-party advertisors. According to the researchers, the healthcare.gov site provides advertising …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jan 2015
Edward Snowden

Snowden SLAMS iPhone, claims 'special software' tracks users

Word out of Russia is that whistleblower Edward Snowden refuses to use an Apple iPhone over fears that the handsets are built to remotely track and transmit data about users. The famed engineer-turned-leaker's attorney apparently told Russian state media that Snowden believes the Apple handset contains remote management and …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jan 2015

Judge to Dish Network: your Hopper's hip, it ain't no Aereo

A US judge has shot down a motion to ban Dish Network's Hopper TV streaming service under the Supreme Court's recent ruling that shut down streaming startup Aereo. In a judgment made public on Wednesday, Judge Dolly Gee of the US District Court of the Central District of California found that the Hopper service was not subject …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jan 2015
BlackBerry Passport

Samsung joins BlackBerry in trashing Reuters biz gobble 'exclusive'

The president of Samsung has to put to rest any lingering speculation that his company was seeking to acquire smartphone minnow BlackBerry. Jong-Kyun Shin said in an email published by Bloomberg that the South Korean biz had no interest in buying the Canadian firm. "We want to work with BlackBerry and develop this partnership, …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jan 2015
Samsung Gear Fit

FDA draws line between wearable health gizmos and proper medical gear

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published draft rules for wearable gadget makers to follow if they want their stuff classified as "general wellness" devices by the watchdog. By "general wellness", the regulator means monitoring basic things like heart rates and distances walked each day, as opposed to vital medical …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jan 2015

Scary code of the week: Valve Steam CLEANS Linux PCs (if you're not careful)

Linux desktop gamers should know of a bug in Valve's Steam client that will, if you're not careful, delete all files on your PC belonging to your regular user account. According to a bug report filed on GitHub, moving Steam's per-user folder to another location in the filesystem, and then attempting to launch the client may …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jan 2015
management regulation1

Comcast sued for – you guessed it – allegedly SCREWING OVER CUSTOMERS

A Chicago man is suing cable giant Comcast for allegedly breaking the law by running a check on his credit history after he'd paid them not to. Keith Santangelo claims that even after he gave Comcast $50 to skip the check, his financial record was still obtained by the telco. His lawsuit, filed in Illinois, accuses the company …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Jan 2015

Mt Gox Bitcoin baron: I was NOT Silk Road boss Dread Pirate Roberts

Mark Karpeles, the boss of collapsed Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, has denied he is, or was, Dread Pirate Roberts – the anonymous mastermind of the online drugs bazaar Silk Road. The surprise allegation, that Karpeles operated the illegal website, surfaced during the ongoing trial of Ross Ulbricht – who is charged with running Silk …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Jan 2015
Supreme Court Building

Come now, don't be beastly to cellphone giants, Supremes tell America's town halls

The US Supreme Court has made it a bit easier for telcos to build cell towers in America. On Wednesday, the court ruled in a majority decision [PDF] that city governments must provide mobile network giants a reasonable amount of time to appeal when deciding on applications to build phone masts. The Supremes said Roswell, …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Jan 2015
New York City's Manhattan skyline

New York side-eyes California's hack attack laws: I'll have what she's having

New York's attorney general is asking the state to set new rules requiring companies to confess when they've been hacked. The Big Apple's AG Eric Schneiderman said that he is going to ask the state to force organizations to disclose the loss of customer user names, passwords and security question answers as part of its …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jan 2015

If cities want to run their own broadband, let 'em do it, Prez Obama tells FCC

President Obama wants US internet watchdog the FCC to overturn bans on city-run broadband in America. The White House has sent FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, and his fellow commissioners, a letter requesting city governments be allowed to build and administer their own fiber networks. "Today, President Obama is announcing a new …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jan 2015
BlackBerry Classic QWERTY key smartphone

Samsung BlackBerry gobble DENIED: We're not for sale to Sammy – execs

Samsung was today rumored to be eyeing up acquiring BlackBerry for $7.5bn – until the Canadian biz point-blank shot down the anonymous claims within hours later. Reuters cited unnamed well-placed sources in announcing the South Korean giant was in talks with BlackBerry so it could snap up the troubled phone maker's patent …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jan 2015
Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer installed on the S3 truss on ISS

TERROR in SPACE: ISS 'Nauts end panic by switching computer off and on again

NASA has reopened sections of the International Space Station (ISS) sealed off after what has now been confirmed to be a false alarm over an ammonia leak. The US agency confirmed midday Wednesday, Pacific Time, that the crew had been cleared to reenter the American-built wing of the orbiting lab, and that no evidence of any …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jan 2015
Apple camera patent

GoPro feels COLD BREATH of APPLE on back of neck

Among the fistful of patents Apple was awarded on Tuesday was a pair of eye-catching filings, one of which has already hit a potential competitor in the pocket. The first of the two, US Patent No 8,933,876, describes a 3D gesture input system that uses a camera to track user movements and respond to three-dimensional gestures …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jan 2015

Uber reveals fresh passenger data spaff – and city officials are OK with this

Uber has agreed to hand over information on its passengers' taxi journeys to city officials in Boston, US – as the data may prove useful to city planners. The deal may be one of many more to come with other towns and cities, perhaps in an attempt to butter up local governments to accept the controversial taxi biz on their …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jan 2015
iPhone smuggler

UNDER A VEST: Man cuffed for smuggling 94 iPhones strapped to his body

Pic Chinese authorities have captured a man trying to smuggle 94 iPhones strapped to his body into the Middle Kingdom. Photos shared by the state's People's Daily newspaper show the man stripped of his outerwear to expose an elaborate layer of Apple handsets fastened with plastic wrap and duct tape to his torso, abdomen, groin and …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jan 2015
iPhone forensics beaten image

iPhone addiction will RUIN YOUR LIFE – if only that were true

Research has confirmed the unthinkable: perfectly normal, rational people turn into anxious sweaty moronic wrecks when they're separated from their beloved smartphones. Case closed, right? Well, if by normal people you mean American journalism undergraduates, by stupid you mean they can't to finish a word search in five minutes …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jan 2015

Facebook hackers work blue on Crayola coloring page

Kids' art supplier Crayola is apologizing after hackers compromised its Facebook account and used the company's feed to spread NSFW images. The coloring kingpin acknowledged on Sunday that its page had fallen victim to hackers who took over the page and began sharing the raunchy cartoons and NSFW pictures with any who visited …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jan 2015
Apple Watch

Apple Watch support spotted hiding out in iOS 8.2 beta

The latest iOS 8.2 beta build includes support for the Apple Watch, we're told, signaling the expensive wristputer is looming. The smartwatch requires an iPhone nearby to work, hence the need for the handset's OS to support the gadget. In late December, Register sources close to Apple said the Cupertino giant's engineers were …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jan 2015
Apple unveils OS X Yosemite

OS X search tool Spotlight runs roughshod over Mail privacy settings

Spotlight, the desktop search engine for OS X computers, will ignore privacy settings in Apple's Mail client when showing messages in its search results. The programming booboo means pictures and possibly other files linked to in HTML emails will automatically show up even if you've told Apple's supplied client to not load …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jan 2015

Kindle sparks Fire, Clouds emerge from Amazon data center

A fire has torn through an under-construction Amazon data center in Loudoun County, Virginia, US. The cloud giant told The Register that no one was hurt in the blaze on Friday, and that there was no disruption to the live Amazon Web Services platform. "We can confirm that a facility in Northern Virginia that is in the early …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jan 2015
grandma by borosjuli on Flickr

Facebook? More like FOGEYBOOK: Zuck's hangout is a cyber-retirement home

Facebook appears to be facing a mild mid-life crisis that's leaving the social networking site out of sorts with youngsters. A study from Pew Research found that the free-content ad network saw little change in its overall usage from 2013 to 2014 and that the only notable growth the site experienced on the year was among those …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Jan 2015
Sony smartband talk

Will hottest CES gadgets be HOT TARGETS for hackers?

This year, more than any other, personal technology dominated the conversation at consumer electronics shindig CES. Wearable and mobile technology was showcased at the expo, and many vendors touted the width and breadth of data collected and managed by these devices, What, then, is going to keep hackers from lifting all that …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Jan 2015
Sony X85 65-inch flat panel 4K TV

Got a 4King big TV? Ready to stream lots of awesome video? Yeah, about that…

While electronics giants are showing off their internet-connected 4K TVs, most people still do not have the web bandwidth to stream stuff in ultra high-def. That's the conclusion reached by the latest quarterly report [PDF] from internet backbone-manipulation outfit Akamai, which shows that only about 12 per cent of netizens …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Jan 2015
1950s style illustration - Smiling woman talks into rotary phone

Broadband isn't broadband unless it's 25Mbps, mulls FCC boss

US comms watchdog the FCC wants to increase the minimum speed ISPs must deliver in order to label an internet service as broadband. Chairman Tom Wheeler hopes to scrap today's minimum of 4Mbps down and 1Mbps up, and instead require carriers to provide 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up if they want to claim broadband internet service in …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Jan 2015

Funster drone jock? Please don’t be a twit – US industry group

CES 2015 Concerned about a potential influx of unsafe and ignorant drone owners, the US Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is backing an initiative to teach safe flying. The industry advocate said that with sales of personal drone 'copters soaring over the holiday season, it would need to step up efforts to keep new owners from …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Jan 2015
Lenovo LaVie

Notebook news: Dell does density, but Lenovo's a lot lighter

CES 2015 January is here and CES is in full swing. That means a fresh crop of new devices, including a refresh to notebook lines for most companies. Two of the more interesting notebooks to have appeared this week are new models from Dell and Lenovo that both look to break new ground in the design space. From Dell, the XPS 13 boasts a …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Jan 2015
Beam booth at CES

CES: WELCOME YOUR ROBOT OVERLORDS... and, er, co-workers

CES 2015 Las Vegas. The strip. A blight on the American desert until you've sunk a few margaritas, ideally by 11am, when suddenly you'll find it all makes sense. Or so your humble hack has heard. If you've ever been to Sin City, especially during a mega-convention like CES 2015, you can perhaps forgive one tech biz for preferring to send …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Jan 2015