Shaun Nichols

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You've been Drudged! Malware-squirting ads appear on websites with 100+ million visitors

Internet lowlifes who used Yahoo! ads to infect potentially countless PCs with malware have struck again – using adverts on popular websites to reach millions more people. Security researchers at MalwareBytes this week discovered the crooks running another massive campaign of ads that use the Angler Exploit Kit to infiltrate …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Aug 2015
Samsung Galaxy S4

US appeals court: Yes, Samsung ... sigh … you still have to pay Apple

Samsung's attempt to wriggle out of paying $548m to Apple has been shot down by the federal circuit court in Washington DC. Back in 2012, the South Korean giant was ordered by a district court in California to pay Apple just over half a billion dollars for shipping Android smartphones that infringing the iPhone maker's patents …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Aug 2015
Lawnmower man

Whirling dervishes of blade and robot? FCC reaches for rubberstamp

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has okayed robotic appliance maker iRobot to continue work on its line of lawnmower droids. The FCC issued a ruling this week that clears the lawn-bots of violation of FCC radio broadcast rules. The decision means iRobot can move forward with its new bots without fear of FCC fines …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Aug 2015
Bug eating an apple

Have an iPhone? Mac? Just about anything else Apple flogs? Patch now

Apple has issued a huge wad of updates to address dozens of CVE-listed security vulnerabilities in iOS, OS X Yosemite, Safari, and OS X Server. The update includes fixes for security flaws that an attacker could exploit to remotely execute code on one's shiny belongings. For newer iOS devices, Apple is putting out the iOS 8.4 …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Aug 2015
Apple facial recognition patent application

Apple tries to patent facial recognition

Apple has asked the US Patent and Trademark Office to grant it the rights to produce facial-recognition features for iOS devices. Apple’s patent application, filed in 2014 and published Thursday, describes a system for selecting contacts via facial recognition and then tagging their faces in photos. This, Apple argues, will …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Aug 2015

Sex app Tinder in public meltdown – because a journo dared suggest it was, well, a sex app

Dating app developer Tinder went ballistic this week over the suggestion people might use it for facilitating casual sex. The official Twitter feed for the swipe-for-sexytime appmaker became an angry rant platform Tuesday after a Vanity Fair writer had the gall to suggest that attractive young professionals are using Tinder to …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Aug 2015

Want Edward Snowden pardoned? You're in the minority, say pollsters

Despite the best efforts of the internet, US citizens favor the filing of criminal charges against Edward Snowden, say researchers. A poll [PDF] of 2,069 American voters carried out by research firm Morning Consult found that 53 per cent of the public want Snowden to face trial, and those who support the whistleblower make up …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Aug 2015

Stop taking drug advice from Kim Kardashian on Twitter, sighs watchdog

Robert Dean may be questioning his career decisions. The division director of US drug regulator the FDA has warned the public that Kim Kardashian's social network pages are not a particularly reliable source of medical advice. In an open-letter [PDF], Dean said endorsements from celebrity buttocks Kardashian were misleading …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Aug 2015
FCC paddling

Repeatedly robocalling? That's a paddlin' – a record $3m paddlin'

US broadband watchdog the FCC has issued the largest robocalling fine in its history to a Florida company accused of repeatedly harassing people. The commission has levied a $2.96m penalty against Travel Club Marketing, which was accused of making at least 185 automated calls using a robo-dialer. According to the FCC, Travel …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Aug 2015

It's 2015, and someone can pwn Windows PCs by inserting a USB stick

Patch Tuesday Microsoft has released 14 sets of software patches to address critical security vulnerabilities in Windows, Office, Internet Explorer, and Edge. Yes, even Edge: Microsoft's supposedly whizzbang super-secure web browser. Users and sysadmins should apply August's Patch Tuesday fixes as soon as possible: the bugs can be exploited …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Aug 2015
Kids harassing a robot

Boffinry breakthrough: Bullied bumble bot bolts brutal brat beatdowns

Vid Researchers in Japan have programmed a robot to flee children after groups of tearaways were recorded abusing the 'droid. A study by Japan's ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories found that kids, particularly when left unsupervised, will bully, harass, and sometimes even attack robots. As noted by IEEE …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Aug 2015

Apple, Google should give FBI every last drop of user information, says ex-HP CEO and wannabe US prez Carly Fiorina

Former HP CEO and current presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina says Apple and Google should just hand user information over to government investigators. Speaking Thursday at the Republican party's presidential debates, Fiorina said companies should be more willing to cooperate with requests from federal investigators to produce …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Aug 2015
Time cover

Moronic Time cover sets back virtual reality another 12 months

Pics Oculus boss Palmer Luckey became the butt of countless jokes Thursday when a cringeworthy photo of him showed up on the cover of Time magazine. The Oculus Rift inventor was chosen to be the subject of the news magazine's cover story on virtual reality headsets. The article, titled 'Why Virtual Reality Is About to Change the …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Aug 2015

Virtually no one is using Apple Music even though it is utterly free

The 11 million people who signed up for Apple Music have two months to cancel their subscriptions or start paying. The streaming service went live in early July, is free for the first three months, and completely dwarfed by Spotify. Apple senior vice president of internet software and services Eddy Cue dropped the 11 million …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Aug 2015

Cher tells HTC: If I could turn back time ... if I could find a way (to not lose $250m in a quarter)

HTC has warned staff there will be mass layoffs after the biz lost more a quarter of a billion dollars in three months. For quarter ending June 30, HTC turned $NT33bn (US$1.04bn) in revenues (down 49 per cent year-on-year) into a NT$5.1bn (US$161.1m) loss, thanks to slow sales of its Android mobile devices. China in particular …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Aug 2015

DNS chief and wannabe master-of-the-internet ICANN pwned… again

ICANN says its website's user accounts have been compromised by hackers who gained access to their names, email addresses, hashed passwords, and more. On Wednesday, the domain-name system overlord admitted its server security was breached within the past week: an "unauthorized person" obtained account records, which included …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Aug 2015

IBM and Apple sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g e-n-t-e-r-p-r-i-s-e b-u-y-e-r-s

IBM is once again pushing its software-for-suits in tandem with Apple. Big Blue said it will sell its enterprise customers Mac desktops and notebooks pre-loaded with its IT management software and services. The bundles are aimed at helping IT departments integrate Macs with their current software platforms. Under the new …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Aug 2015
4 arrows signs in arrow on wooden wall

Apple goes to crapple in stock plunge kerfaffle: $113bn wiped off in days

Peak Apple Apple is in the midst of a stock drop that has caused the Cupertino giant to lose as much as $113bn in market cap. Since posting its last quarterly numbers, Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) has seen its stock price drop from $125.22 per share to a low point of $112.10. Wary that Apple's meteoric growth from recent years is slowing down as …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Aug 2015
Ada Lovelace

Lights out for Ada Initiative – women's group closing shop

Women-in-tech advocacy group The Ada Initiative is shutting down. The creators of the women's open-source developer organization said they will be closing down operations following a fruitless search for a new executive director. The group plans to cease operations by mid-October. Started in 2011, the Ada Initiative advocated …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Aug 2015

Drone delivery sparks Ohio prison brawl

An exercise-yard fight at an Ohio prison is being blamed on a drone's failed drug-smuggling attempt. Guards at the Mansfield Correctional Institution had to break up a fight in the prison's north recreation yard when nine inmates began fighting over the contents of a package that had been dropped by a drone flying over the …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Aug 2015
Spritam 3D printed pills

Screw your cutesy plastic art tat, the US govt has found a use for 3D printing: DRUGS!

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted its first-ever approval for a drug manufactured by 3D printing. The FDA told Aprecia Pharmaceuticals it could move forward [PDF] with the introduction of Spritam, an anti-seizure medication for people with epilepsy. The pill is set to go on sale in the US early next year. …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Aug 2015

Yahoo! website! ads! spaff! CryptoWall! ransomware! AGAIN!

Yahoo! has been used to spread ransomware to Windows PCs almost exactly a year after the previous big outbreak. Adverts served on the Yahoo! homepage as well as the Yahoo! News, Sports, Celebrity, Finance, and Games websites, quietly loaded a script that ultimately exploited holes in Adobe Flash to infect vulnerable systems, …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Aug 2015
emo guy

We made a new Do Not Track thing – not like you'll use it or anything, huffs emo teen EFF

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is making a second attempt to sell online publishers and ad networks on a Do Not Track specification. The new guidelines have the backing of privacy peeps at Disconnect, blogging website Medium, search engine DuckDuckGo, and analytics biz Mixpanel. Also on board are the developers of …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Aug 2015
Rotary phone

Sick of politicians robo-calling you? Bin your landline, says the FCC

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has clarified its stance on how members of congress can use autodialers. The verdict? Get rid of your landline if you don't want politicians to robo-call you. The FCC FAQ sheet [PDF] told congresscritters that their precious tele-townhall robocalls are safe from legal action, so …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Aug 2015
Emojis from Apple's beta of iOS 6

Gay emojis? GAY EMOJIS?! Not here in Russia, comrade

The Russian government is reportedly looking to ban "gay" emoji symbols over fears the same-sex pictures could violate censorship laws. Russia's Izvestia newspaper reports that Russian senator Mikhail Marchenko has issued a complaint that a collection of new emojis depict same-sex couples. Marchenko argues the emojis are in …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Aug 2015
James Woods

James Woods demands $10m from Twitter troll for 'coke addict' claim

Actor James Woods is suing a Twitter troll for wrongly branding him a "cocaine addict." Woods, who says he is not a drug addict, wants $10m in damages. The Hollywood star's legal eagles have this week filed suit in the Los Angeles Superior Court against the whoever is behind the Twitter account "Abe List" over a July 15 tweet …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Jul 2015
Homer Simpson wearing a Glass headset to bed

Google sneaks out new clip-on tech goggles for saddo Glassholes

Google has reportedly been developing a revision of its infamous Glass product for use in the workplace. The Wall Street Journal cited sources familiar in reporting that the new version of Glass will be a clip-on system designed for specialized tasks. Google execs have previously said that the Chocolate Factory was looking to …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Jul 2015

Apple gobbles chunk of CNET, ZDNet – report

Apple is reportedly moving into San Francisco's stinky and noisy trendy South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood – by leasing office space in CBS Interactive's building. The iGiant will take 76,000 of the 283,000 square feet at 235 Second Street, according to a report by the San Francisco Business Times, citing sources in the real- …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Jul 2015
FCC paddling

FCC swamped by 2,000+ net neutrality complaints against ISPs

The FCC has reportedly received over 2,000 complaints related to alleged violations of its Open Internet rules. A report from the National Journal cites FCC records it obtained in reporting that thousands of complaints allege throttling of internet service by local carriers. The National Journal was able, via a Freedom of …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Jul 2015
Github octodex

Git a load of this: GitHub now valued at $2 billion

GitHub has received a $250m infusion of venture-capital cash that values the code-sharing website at $2bn. That means it's worth more than ZenDesk ($1.78bn), slightly less than the New York Times ($2.17bn), and more than stricken Yelp ($1.87bn). The San Francisco-based upstart said its Series-B funding round was led by VC …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Jul 2015

Twitter will delete jokes after a DMCA takedown – but NOT my photos, fumes angry snapper

A photographer is suing Twitter, claiming it refused to remove unauthorized copies of her copyrighted snaps from its social network. Kristen Pierson has filed a copyright-infringement complaint [PDF] against Twitter in the Los Angeles District Court, alleging the website has ignored her request to take down images she snapped …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jul 2015
Yelp search

Yelp whelps yelp 'Help!' Chairman ejects, shares plunge 30%, losses grow

Yelp is in full crisis mode as the upstart's chairman is out – and its stock continues to free fall. The reviews website, headquartered in San Francisco's startup land, announced on Wednesday that a modest $2.7m profit in the second quarter of 2014 had turned into a loss of $1.3m in the second quarter of 2015. This is despite …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jul 2015
Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR)

Your voter-trolling autodialer is illegal: The cringey moment the FCC spanks a congresscritter

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler caught the members of the US House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology off guard Tuesday when he told them that one of their favorite campaign tools is against the law to use. Speaking alongside FCC commissioner Ajit Pai, Wheeler testified before the Congressional subcommittee on issues …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jul 2015

Hacked US Census Bureau staff to take anti-phishing classes

The US Census Bureau has asked for additional IT security training for its staff – including tips on how not to fall for phishing emails – in the wake of last week's server breach. The bureau said in a blog post over the weekend that the hackers who managed to pull employee records from its computers did so by targeting the …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jul 2015

Oh, Obama's responded to the petition to pardon Snowden. What'll it be?

The US White House has formally declined a citizens' petition to issue a pardon to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The President Obama-led administration on Tuesday issued its response to the "We The People" petition to grant Snowden a pardon and allow him to return to the United States without facing arrest and further …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jul 2015

Bloke who tried to get journo killed by SWAT cops coughs to conspiracy charge

One of the individuals who swatted the home of investigative journalist Brian Krebs has pleaded guilty to a felony criminal charge. Swatting, for the uninitiated, involves calling 911 to falsely claim that someone is about to be shot and killed, and giving the police the address of an enemy or rival. What happens next is an …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jul 2015

Game over, Ouya, the Android gaming console

Ouya has been purchased by games house Razer in a move that likely signals the end of the road for its self-titled Android gaming console. Razer said in a Monday release that it had agreed to acquire Ouya, taking on all of its staff members and software products. The Ouya hardware division, including the Ouya Android games …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Jul 2015

Google bows to inevitable, stops forcing Google+ logins on YouTubers

Google will get rid of any requirement to "use" its tumbleweed-tastic "social network" Google+ from YouTube and others of its popular websites, following mounting annoyance among users. This means people will no longer be forced to use the ghost-town social network: you'll be able to log into YouTube, and other Googley …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Jul 2015
Tengen's Gauntlet

Happy 30th anniversary, Tengen! Your anti-DRM NES chip fought the law, and the law won

In 1985, Japanese giant Namco got out its wallet, and bought control of Atari Games – the coin-op arcade games maker that was doing rather well compared to its ailing home console cousin, Atari Corp. The deal was the first step toward a massive legal battle that changed the way console manufacturers produced, licensed, and …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jul 2015
Google's unlock to app patent

Google: Hey startups, want in on our patent gang? First hit's free

Google is looking to recruit 50 startups to participate in its patent licensing network. The Mountain View ad giant said its Patent Starter Program would offer startups free Google Patents as well as the ability to view Google's entire portfolio with the option of acquiring further patents. In exchange, the startups will be …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jul 2015
Mr Creosote prepares to gobble

AT&T swallows DirecTV in $50 BEELLION biz gulp – moments after FCC OK

The FCC has formally approved AT&T's acquisition of satellite TV giant DirecTV, clearing the way for the nearly $50bn deal to go through. On Friday, the US watchdog backed the $48.5bn buyout plan two days after chairman Tom Wheeler announced he would put the proposal up for approval. The deal was waved through with …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jul 2015
Bob and Doug McKenzie of Canada

Take off, eh, you Uber: Ontario lobs $300m lawsuit at cab app biz

Uber has been hit with a CAN$400m (US$305m) lawsuit in Canada accusing the upstart of violating taxi laws. The class-action suit, filed on behalf of cabbies in the Ontario province, claims Uber's dial-a-ride service operates as a fleet of illegal cabs, picking up people and taking money for journeys without obtaining proper …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jul 2015

Happy birthday, Amiga: The 'other' home computer turns 30

On July 23, 1985, Commodore kicked off a new era in its history with the launch of the Amiga 1000. Through the 1980s and into the early 90s, the Amiga built for itself a cult following and gained a reputation as a personal computer ahead of its time. The tangle with Atari Part of the story behind Amiga is the tale of two …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jul 2015
Virgin Media Tivo

Help! Our Virgin Media TiVo boxes are stuck in a loop! Help! Our Virgin..

Virgin Media subscribers are complaining that their TiVo set-top boxes are randomly and repeatedly restarting in what appears to be a widespread service disruption. Lots of Brits posting to the UK cableco's support forum say the TV boxes, provided by Virgin Media, being thrown into reboot loops. The issue appears to have …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jul 2015
Bob and Doug McKenzie of Canada

Canucks: Hey, Big Dog Telcos. Share that fiber with the little guys, eh?

The government of Canada has ruled that large broadband providers will have to open up their fiber data lines for use by smaller carriers. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) said Wednesday that large incumbent companies who control high-speed data lines will now be required by law to make …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jul 2015

You can secretly snoop on someone if they butt-dial you – US judges

A US court of appeals has ruled that phone calls started by accident in your pocket – so-called butt dialing – can be lawfully recorded. The Ohio Sixth Circuit appeals court found in favor [PDF] of a woman who recorded the conversations of a colleague who had unknowingly dialed her number before entering a meeting. James …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2015
apple music

'Apple lures labels from free streams – and why is no one doing anything about it' shrieks group

A pressure group in America has urged US watchdog the FTC and Uncle Sam's Department of Justice to probe Apple Music for signs of antitrust violations. Consumer Watchdog has written a letter [PDF] to the five commissioners of the FTC as well as DoJ attorney general Loretta Lynch and assistant attorney general William Baer …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2015

$50bn AT&T-DirecTV GOBBLE almost at BELCH stage: DoJ, FCC boss give nod

AT&T has scoffed DirecTV up - now it's just about digestion time. The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has OK'd the deal, and the head of the FCC is on side as well. The DoJ said Tuesday it would not be challenging the proposed $48.5bn (£31.2bn) acquisition of DirecTV by AT&T, removing one of the largest hurdles to the deal. …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2015
Scrooge McDuck

BREAKING NEWS: Apple makes money

Apple has kept up its record pace, posting a third-quarter profit of $10.67bn (£6.43bn), up 38 per cent year on year, from revenues of $49.6bn (£31.8bn). The Cupertino giant said it flogged 47.5 million iPhones in what was its best-ever third fiscal quarter performance [PDF] to date. Revenues from the three-month period to …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2015

Toshiba CEO and execs quit over $1.2bn six-year accounting scandal

Toshiba CEO Hisao Tanaka and seven other bigwigs have quit after a probe concluded profit figures had been inflated beyond their real values. The Japanese electronics giant said in a brief statement [PDF] today that $1.2bn (£770m, 151.8bn yen) was incorrectly added to Toshiba's income-before-tax figures in the 2008 to 2014 …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2015