Shaun Nichols

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China

China's hackers stole files on 4 MEELLION US govt staff? Bu shi, says China

China is fending off accusations it was behind the theft of personal dossiers on four million US government workers – some of whom had applied for or were granted security clearances. China's foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told NBC News: "We hope the United States could discard this kind of suspicion and stop groundless …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Jun 2015
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Intellectual Ventures: Toshiba is violating our patent! Toshiba: What patent?

Toshiba has prevailed in its battle with patent-hoarders Intellectual Ventures over a patent infringement case regarding computer memory. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) found that [PDF] Intellectual Ventures can not collect damages on US Patent 5,687,132 relating to the operation of hardware memory sub-arrays due to …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Jun 2015

Hackers steal files on 4 million US govt workers

The agency tasked with recruiting workers for the US government has fessed up to allowing the personal details of 4 million people to be stolen by hackers. The US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has sent out an alert to current and former government employees warning of the data breach. "Beginning June 8 and continuing …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Jun 2015
Snowden

Why did Snowden swipe 900k+ US DoD files? (Or so Uncle Sam claims)

Edward Snowden made off with "over 900,000" highly sensitive US Department of Defense documents, according to American government officials whose private memos were published today. The figures were obtained by Vice News following a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) battle with Uncle Sam. According to the undated memos, agents …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Jun 2015
Apple Watch Sport

Gasping for an Apple Watch? You'll have to tremble and shake for two more weeks

Apple plans to expand sales of the Apple Watch to new markets later this month, even though it will still be a couple of weeks before it can catch up with its existing backlog of orders. The Cupertino firm said its coveted wrist accessory will go on sale in Italy, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and Taiwan …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Jun 2015
Denmark Minecraft map vandalised

Doom, Mario, Pac-Man level up to video gaming's Hall of Fame

The Strong Museum has chosen its first six honorees for its Hall of Fame for video games – but has omitted some major names in the process. Pong, Pac-Man, Tetris, Super Mario Bros, DOOM, and World of Warcraft were the first titles to win inauguration for the new Hall of Fame. Pong was cited for its influence on popular culture …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Jun 2015
Apple TV

Waiting for the new Apple TV? No? Good, because it's not coming any time soon

Next week's Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) will not include the release of a new Apple TV. The New York Times cites people briefed on the to report the Cupertino giant has scratched the set-top box from its list of products to showcase in CEO Tim Cook's opening keynote. The report suggests that Cook and Co. will …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Jun 2015
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Science teacher jammed his school kids' phones, gets week suspension

A high school teacher in Tampa Bay, Florida, has been suspended without pay for using a jamming device to keep students off their cellphones. Science teacher Dean Liptak will spend five days on the naughty step at Fivay High School for employing a device that prevented nearby phones from making or receiving calls, sending and …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Jun 2015
Pebble

Smartwatch biz Pebble says smartwatch biz Apple won't approve its new app – surprise

The makers of the Pebble smartwatch are moaning that Apple is taking its sweet time to approve the latest bug-fixed version of the Pebble Time iOS app. Completely coincidentally, Apple just recently launched its own smartwatch. Team Pebble claims the official Apple App Store is stalling its approval of the Pebble Time software …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Jun 2015
DirecTV

AT&T: We'll play nice with net neutrality, just let us gobble DirecTV

AT&T will give in to net neutrality rules in the US – provided it is allowed to buy DirecTV. The telco wants to gobble up DirecTV for $49bn, and the FCC (America's broadband regulator) wants the telco to obey new rules for an open internet. According to the Washington Post, execs at AT&T are willing to drop their objections to …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Jun 2015

Microsoft suffers worldwide Wi-Fi wardrobe malfunction

Microsoft is gearing up to launch a new Wi-Fi hotspot-hunting app, designed to keep people connected to the web wherever they are – assuming they're within range of a friendly wireless network. The Redmond software giant switched on its new microsoftwifi.com website, promising further details on "Microsoft Wi-Fi," which will …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Jun 2015

Sorry we called you a fatty, say Kiwi spies to Kim 'Slim Jim' Dotcom

New Zealand's spy-boss has said sorry after her intelligence agents branded MegaUpload's svelte supremo Kim Dotcom a "fatty." The groveling apology came from Security Intelligence Service chief Rebecca Kitteridge after the New Zealand Herald obtained and published correspondence between g-men poking fun at spindly Dotcom. " …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Jun 2015

Holy SSH-it! Microsoft promises secure logins for Windows PowerShell

Microsoft has finally decided to add support for SSH to PowerShell, allowing people to log into Windows systems and use software remotely over an encrypted connection. Users of Linux, the BSDs, and other operating systems, will know all about OpenSSH and its usefulness in connecting machines in a secure way to execute commands …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Jun 2015
Fallout 3

Bethesda all out for 'Fallout 4', fallout for global productivity foretold in countdown

Bethesda has given us all a reason to take time off with the impending announcement of a new Fallout game. The Fallout daddy has put up a countdown ticker for what will likely be the next edition of the beloved post-apocalyptic roleplaying game series. The countdown clock promises some big news for gamers within the next 22 …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Jun 2015

What a Zuckin' drag! 'Frisco queens protest outside Facebook HQ over 'real names' policy

Facebook is once again facing protests for its controversial "real names only" rule. A group of picketers, including a prominent San Francisco drag queen group, turned up outside Facebook's Menlo Park headquarters today, complaining that the Facebook policies leave them open to discrimination. Native Americans and domestic- …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Jun 2015
Apple Beats headphones

Will Apple reveal a $10-a-month Spotify rival next week? Yeah, yeah, probably

Apple is gearing up to stream music online for $10 a month, a service that will rival Spotify, it is rumored. Apparently, the cloud-hosted jukebox will be separate from the iTunes Store, and will be revealed at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) – which kicks off on June 8 in San Francisco. Apple is expected to …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Jun 2015
Lego World

New kid on the blocks: Lego Worlds game challenges Minecraft

Lego has created a block-by-block world-building computer game to take on the Microsoft-owned Minecraft series. Lego Worlds is now available via Steam for Windows PCs, and allows players to use virtual plastic bricks to construct and alter landscapes, buildings, forests, mountains, and yeah, you get the gist. "In a galaxy of …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Jun 2015
Typo keyboard

American Idle: Seacrest keyboard startup Typo goes nowhere after BlackBerry bust-up

Typo, the ill-fated iPhone keyboard startup backed by US media personality Ryan Seacrest, has agreed to discontinue much of its product line after settling a legal dispute with BlackBerry. The struggling Canadian smartphone mogul said that it has agreed to a settlement with Typo that will see the accessory maker permanently shut …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Jun 2015
Google Photo

Tossed all your snaps into the new Google Photos? You read the terms, right? ... RIGHT?

Netizens who have been scrambling to upload their photo libraries into Google's new cloud-hosted Photos service could find themselves sharing more than they wanted to with the Mountain View advertising giant. A clause in the Google Terms of Service notes that The Chocolate Factory reserves the rights to use anything you decided …
Shaun Nichols, 29 May 2015
Fish Fossil

Hardcore creationist finds 60-million-year-old fossils in backyard ... 'No, it hasn’t changed my mind about the Bible'

Pic An ardent believer in creationism has dug up fish fossils that boffins say are 60 million years old. That's somewhat further back in time than the genesis of life described in the Good Book. If God does exist, he or she has a wicked sense of humor, it seems. Experts at the University of Calgary in Canada say that the bones – or …
Shaun Nichols, 29 May 2015
Siri logo

Siri, please save my iPhone from the messages of death

Apple has published a temporary workaround for iPhones blighted by incoming text messages that cause them to crash and restart – and it involves asking Siri for help. A specially crafted sequence of unicode triggers a fatal bug in a core component of iOS and OS X. If the data is sent in a text message, it will crash an iThing …
Shaun Nichols, 29 May 2015

Fumbling Feds lose control of seized MegaUpload domains – to saucy vid slingers

Some of MegaUpload's file-sharing websites, once seized by the Feds, are now serving up porn and allegedly malware – after Uncle Sam's finest failed to renew one of its own domains. Netizens surfing to two of the five ex-MegaUpload sites are greeted with a page containing multiple links to malware downloads, a fake BBC article …
Shaun Nichols, 29 May 2015

Twitch.tv: Clean your streams of titillating titty titles off our screens

Gameplay broadcaster Twitch has banned users from streaming racy live video from "adult only" games. An update to the Amazon-owned site's rules of conduct states titles with a US rating of "Adults Only" (AO) are no longer permitted for streaming. Games rated "Mature" and cleaned-up ports of AO games are still permitted, so …
Shaun Nichols, 28 May 2015
Rotary phone

FCC boss sketches out bargain broadband for hard-up Americans

Tom Wheeler, chairman of US internet watchdog the FCC, has asked the regulator's commissioners to offer broadband to poor Americans via the Lifeline program. The net-neutrality crusader has put forward a list of proposed updates to Lifeline, including the addition of broadband to what is right now just a phone-only program. …
Shaun Nichols, 28 May 2015
Swatch

Who's the big Swiss bunch that wants to take Sir Jony's lunch? It's... SWATCH!

1980s fashion icon Swatch has confirmed it is working on a smartwatch. The Swiss biz on Thursday said it will produce a wrist-puter that will include electronics for NFC payments. CEO Nick Hayek told shareholders the new model is set for an August launch in Switzerland and "one big country" that has yet to be named. Other …
Shaun Nichols, 28 May 2015

Insurer tells hospitals: You let hackers in, we're not bailing you out

When hackers swiped 32,500 patient records from Cottage Healthcare System, it was sued by its own customers for $4.1m – a bill that was settled by its insurers. Now the insurance company, Columbia Casualty Company, has claimed Cottage's computers were hopelessly insecure, and it wants its money back. Columbia claims the …
Shaun Nichols, 28 May 2015
The Day the Earth Stood Still

FCC to crack down on robocall spammers' beloved loophole

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has put forward rules to close a loophole used by robocallers and text-message spammers. The proposed regulations, if approved, will ban robocallers from harassing citizens when they take over a previously used number. Even if the previous owner of the number was OK with the calls, …
Shaun Nichols, 27 May 2015
The Big Bang Theory

CBS boss says he'll show off his crown jewels on Apple TV – for a large enough check

The head of US TV giant CBS said he is open to a deal that would put the network's programming on Apple's TV boxes – if the price is right. Les Moonves, whose TV empire includes CSI and The Big Bang Theory, said Apple's foray into internet telly will need a television network to create the entertainment. He said Apple will have …
Shaun Nichols, 27 May 2015
hacker

THE TRUTH: IRS 'cyber-hack' exposes 100,000 people whose identities were already stolen

The US Internal Revenue Service said on Tuesday that info including tax returns and income forms for some 100,000 people were illegally accessed this year. The US tax agency believes a group collected a trove of information on the victims and then used that data to fill out the authentication forms for the IRS's online "Get …
Shaun Nichols, 26 May 2015
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

'iPhone 6S' to push fanbois around with 'Force Touch display'

The latest crop of iPhones will reportedly come equipped with touch-sensing haptic displays that push back on your fingertips. A report from 9to5Mac cites sources familiar with the matter saying that the force-sensing technology featured in the screen of the Apple Watch or the trackpad of the MacBook Pro. will be crammed into a …
Shaun Nichols, 26 May 2015
Periscope for Android

Live web vid spaff app Periscope shoved up Android mobes

Popular live video-broadcasting app Periscope has been released as an Android app via the Google Play store. A trio of Periscope engineers announced the release on a Medium post Tuesday morning. Periscope, Twitter's answer to fellow mobile broadcasting app Meerkat, allows users to record and broadcast live video streams from …
Shaun Nichols, 26 May 2015
No Sale

Salesforce snubbed Microsoft's $55bn biz gobble offer – report

Microsoft wanted to buy cloud giant Salesforce.com for $55bn, it is reported. CNBC, citing anonymous sources, today claims the Windows goliath offered the 11-figure sum to Salesforce, but boss Marc Benioff wanted $70bn – a whopping price tag that ultimately sunk the deal. Salesforce has a market cap of $48.48bn. The talks …
Shaun Nichols, 22 May 2015

What are cellphone networks blabbing about you to the Feds? A US senator wants to know

US Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) wants America's mobile networks to reveal the types of customer information they share with Uncle Sam. The carriers publish "transparency" reports detailing how many demands for sensitive information they receive from the governments, and how many they comply with – but this is not enough for …
Shaun Nichols, 22 May 2015
Chromebook pixel1

School's in for Chromebooks, Google's the top swot in class

Chromebooks will be shipping to the tune of 7.3 million units this year, thanks mostly to educational sales. Research house Gartner estimates that the 2015 calendar year will bring banner sales for the operating system as more schools and home users seek out Chromebooks. Should Chromebook reach the 7.3 million unit mark, the …
Shaun Nichols, 22 May 2015

Want to be the hottest thing since Melrose Place? Get these Lycos patents

Dial-up era icon Lycos has finally gotten around to selling off its patents. The erstwhile search engine of the Clinton administration has embarked on a campaign to sell off its intellectual property holdings in an attempt to generate some revenue. The company has hired a consulting firm called Propeller(y) to help flog its …
Shaun Nichols, 21 May 2015
Grand Theft Auto Lindsay Lohan lookalike

Grand Theft Auto maker lobs sueball at BBC over biopic

A spat between the creators of Grand Theft Auto and the BBC has spilled over into a legal feud. Take-Two Interactive, parent company of Rockstar Games, has filed suit against the UK broadcasting company over allegations of trademark infringement for its decision to cast a biopic about the games developer's history. According to …
Shaun Nichols, 21 May 2015
Alix Tichelman has plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges

Call girl gets six years for Googler's drug death

A former call girl has plead guilty to felony charges in the death of a senior Google executive from a heroin overdose. Alix Tichelman received a six year sentence for charges of involuntary manslaughter and drugs possession. She is expected to serve around three years behind bars, given her time served in jail already. "Alix …
Shaun Nichols, 21 May 2015
FTC building

Robocalling Americans? That'll cost you $1.7 MEEELLION

A pair of US companies have been fined $1.7m by the FTC for violating federal laws on robocalling. The US trade watchdog said that Universal Processing Services of Wisconsin and HES Merchant Services Company would have to split a $1,734,972 bill for their role in a robocall scheme advertising credit card interest rate reductions …
Shaun Nichols, 20 May 2015
The US White House. Pic: Roman Boed

Google Maps gets hit with racist White House listing

Google is once again scrambling to clean up bad behavior by Maps users after a couple of mortifying pieces of online graffiti were found. An unknown user has tagged the listing for The White House with a racial slur, causing the presidential residence to show up when the phrase "N****** House" is searched. A second remark tagged …
Shaun Nichols, 20 May 2015

Uncle Sam spanks PayPal for credit scheme cockup

Updated PayPal is going to surrender $25m to settle charges it enrolled consumers into its credit platform without their knowledge or consent. The US government's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) alleges the online payment house used its "Bill Me Later" feature to lure consumers into its credit operation illegally. The …
Shaun Nichols, 19 May 2015
China

We caught Chinese technology spies RED-HANDED, claims US government

Six Chinese nationals acting as university professors and graduate students have been arrested on charges of stealing wireless technology from US firms and exporting it to the Middle Kingdom. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged the group with attempting to lift intellectual property from two Silicon Valley companies: …
Shaun Nichols, 19 May 2015
27in iMac

Get another loan, fanbois, the new MacBook Pro and iMac are here

Apple has updated its MacBook Pro and iMac lines with improved hardware specs and sharper displays, and the usual four-figure price tag. "The response to the new MacBook and updated 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display has been amazing, and today we are thrilled to bring the new Force Touch trackpad, faster flash storage, and …
Shaun Nichols, 19 May 2015

Google Google GOOGLE! Cloud cloud CLOUD! These prices are INNNSAAAANE!

Google is cutting prices on its Cloud hosted computing service. The Mountain View Ad server said it would be offering lower prices on cloud compute instances and virtual machines. Under the new pricing model, cloud compute instances will be cut anywhere from 5 per cent (high CPU instances) to 30 per cent (micro CPU instances) …
Shaun Nichols, 18 May 2015
Cow skull

FTC to scavengers: Radio Shack corpse doesn't include customer data

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued an official warning to the companies taking over the assets of North American electronics retailer Radio Shack — namely, don't touch customer data. "We understand that RadioShack’s customer information constitutes a potentially valuable asset," FTC Consumer Protection boss Jessica …
Shaun Nichols, 18 May 2015

You can't put a price on LOVE, says Apple after court's Samsung payout slash

Apple suffered a big legal setback today when a US court reversed part of its patent case against rival Samsung - losing a third of its $930m settlement against the huge Korean chaebol. The US Appeals Court (PDF) found that most of Apple's original infringement claims can stand, but the claim related to the overall look and feel …
Shaun Nichols, 18 May 2015
hacker

Penn State University network sacked by China malware blitz

Penn State University has had to take networks in its school of engineering offline after falling victim to a malware attack traced partially to China. Acting on an FBI tip, the school found that PCs on the network of its College of Engineering were infected with malware that appeared to be trying to harvest research data and …
Shaun Nichols, 15 May 2015
Sony ICF-7600D radio

Pandora ordered to pay up extra royalties in BMI row

Pandora has lost a legal decision that will see the company fork out more money to performing rights clearing house group BMI to pay for its content. A court in New York found the streaming music giant to be liable for additional royalties, bumping the fees it owes to BMI up from 1.7 per cent to 2.5 per cent of revenues. The …
Shaun Nichols, 15 May 2015
rage meme

Reddit: Gonna SCRUB these TROLLS right outa my hair

Vast forum site Reddit has added new policies that it hopes will help rein in harassment of its users by its other, not-so-nice, users. The meme-trading portal said it would crack down on online harassment of individuals with the goal of ending it, for the good of the site. "The number one reason Redditors do not recommend the …
Shaun Nichols, 15 May 2015
Apple Watch Sport

Stolen an Apple watch? Want to pawn it off? Good news!

Apple's $17,000 watch is shockingly easy to re-use when stolen – so much so that it's sure to be an even more attractive target to thieves than iPhones. Multiple reports show that the Cupertinian arm candy lacks any sort of remote wipe or locking ability. What's more, they can easily be wiped and paired with a new phone without …
Shaun Nichols, 14 May 2015

Dying to make time lapse videos? No? Well, Microsoft is doing it anyway!

Microsoft has released a tool to let users produce timelapse videos, provided they're not Apple fanbois. Redmond posted the Hyperlapse tool for Windows and Android devices to let users shrink long videos down to shorter timelapse version. "Want to show your friends what you saw on that 12-mile hike you took last weekend or let …
Shaun Nichols, 14 May 2015