Shaun Nichols

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Shot of a new Macbook Pro

MacBook Pro owners complain of short batt life – so Apple kills batt life clock in macOS

Apple once again finds itself drawing the ire of customers after its decision to remove part of the battery-monitoring tools on macOS. The latest version of the Macintosh operating system, macOS Sierra 10.12.2, no longer displays the estimated amount of time left, instead showing only the percentage of battery charge remaining …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Dec 2016
Photo by JStone / Shutterstock

Uber-creepy: Dial-a-ride devs accused of stalking pop diva Beyonce

A former Uber staffer claims the amateur taxi app maker routinely pried into customer records to spy on people, including celebrity riders and ex-partners of employees. The allegations against the ride-sharing giant were made by Ward Spangenberg, a former forensic investigator at Uber who is now suing the Silicon Valley biz …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Dec 2016

Reschedule the holiday party, Patch Tuesday is here and it's a big one

Security patches for Windows, macOS, iOS and other Apple firmware, and a host of Adobe products, were emitted this week. The final scheduled patch dump of the year sees Microsoft deliver fixes for multiple products, while Apple has security updates for iOS, macOS, Safari, and iTunes, and Adobe patches nine products including …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Dec 2016
Photo by Laura Hutton / Shutterstock

Apple ordered to cough up $2m to store workers after denying rest breaks

A California court has ruled in favor of Apple Store workers who accused the iPhone giant of trampling over their employment rights. It is a bittersweet victory. The trial jury yesterday awarded store staff $2m after Apple was found to have illegally denied them meal and rest breaks, and was late giving departing workers their …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Dec 2016
A man with his hands chained up

Samsung revival hamstrung by 2014 Google deal – analyst

A provision in Samsung's 2014 patent-sharing settlement with Google could hurt the South Korean electronics giant's efforts to rebound from the Note 7 recall. Edison Investment Research analyst Richard Windsor says that efforts by Samsung to recover from the disastrous phablet release and subsequent removal from the market …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Dec 2016
A frustrated woman

US-CERT's top tip: Hack your crap Netgear router before miscreants arrive

Owners of three models of Netgear routers are being advised to exploit a security hole in their broadband boxes to, er, temporarily close said hole. The alternative is to switch off the boxes until a firmware update lands. Netgear says that the R6400, R7000, and R8000 series routers are all vulnerable to CVE-2016-582384, a …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Dec 2016

Beancounter nicks $5m from bosses, blows $1m on fantasy babe Kate Upton's mobe game

A California chap says he blew $1m in money stolen from his employer on Game of War, a freemium phone game fronted by swimsuit model Kate Upton. Kevin Lee Co, of Rocklin, has pleaded guilty [PDF] to one count each of wire fraud and money laundering, and admitted to stealing roughly $4.8m from his employer through charges to …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Dec 2016

Samsung, the Angel of Death: Exploding Note 7 phones will be bricked

Anyone still using a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has ten days to return their device for a refund before Sammy kills the handset for good. The South Korean electronics giant says that an over-the-air update set for release on December 19 will effectively brick the devices for good, shutting off all phone and data connections and …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Dec 2016

Chip biz Aixtron begs for help: Just let the Chinese eat me!

With its proposed acquisition by a Chinese investment group now having been shot down in two hemispheres, Aixtron is looking for government help to get another deal through. The German semiconductor manufacturer is reportedly hoping to work with regulators in Germany on a plan that would allow it to go forward with its sale to …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Dec 2016
An angry woman looking at her phone

AT&T took too much money from customers, will pay them back by ... taking less money

AT&T will pay out $88m to settle an FTC complaint that it allowed excessive "cramming" charges on customer bills. The US trade bod says that some 2.7 million customers will be getting a share of the $88m settlement it struck with the wireless carrier to end allegations that AT&T allowed third-party services to put excessive …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Dec 2016

HBO slaps takedown demand on 13-year-old girl's painting because it used 'Winter is coming'

Pic It turns out King Joffrey isn't the biggest scumbag at HBO after all. A father says lawyers at the cable TV network demanded his 13-year-old daughter's artwork be taken off the internet after she drew a lovely picture titled "winter is coming" and posted the image to arts'n'craft website RedBubble. "My daughter, who happens …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Dec 2016
Canadian Mounties

Body cams too fragile for Canadian Mounties – so they won't be used

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) says it will not be equipping its officers with body cameras after the units were found to be not rugged enough for field use. The Mounties say that a three-year trial run of the body-worn camera (BWC) gear has concluded and will not be adopted because the units have neither the battery …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Dec 2016

Sigh... 'Hundreds of thousands' of... sigh, web CCTV cams still at risk of... sigh, hijacking

Vid Amid ongoing malware infections of IoT gadgets and armies of commandeered gizmos attacking server, glaring security holes in web-connected CCTV cameras are going unpatched. So say researchers with Cybereason, who claim a pair of high-profile vulnerabilities they spotted in surveillance cams two years ago have been completely …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Dec 2016

Don't have a Dirty COW, man: Android gets full kernel hijack patch

Google has posted an update for Android that, among other fixes, officially closes the Dirty COW vulnerability. The December 2016 update covers a total of 74 CVE-listed security vulnerabilities in Android devices. These fixes should be landing on Nexus handsets devices very soon, if not already, and installed as soon as …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Dec 2016
Epson WF-3520 printer

Firmware freakout sends Epson Wi-Fi printers into reboot loop

Epson Wi-Fi-connected printers are repeatedly crashing due to what looks like a combination of a firmware update gone wrong and Google Cloud Print. Reg tipster Terry Bernstein says folks have found that their Epson WF‑3520 printers have been sent into a constant loop of shutting down and restarting over the past day. The …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Dec 2016

Verizon flogs off 29 data centers, pockets $3.6bn

Verizon has finalized a deal to hand over control of 29 data centers in the US and Latin America to Equinix, in a deal that will net the telco $3.6bn. The sell-off includes 24 customer-facing locations and is expected to close in 2017. After the hand-off, Verizon customers will be able to continue their managed hosting and …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Dec 2016

US Supreme Court slashes Samsung's patent payout to Apple

Update Samsung has claimed a Supreme Court victory that will see its $400m patent damages bill to Apple significantly reduced. The highest court in America ruled that the damages were incorrectly calculated and ordered a Californian district court to take another look at the case to calculate a smaller bill for the South Korean …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Dec 2016

Engineers say safety features got squished out of cramped Samsung Note 7

A teardown analysis of the Samsung Note 7 claims that the ill-fated phablet was doomed by a design flaw that squeezed its battery pack to unsafe pressure levels. Anna Shedletsky, CEO of engineering software developer Instrumental, said her team's teardown analysis of the Note 7 found that the smartphone's tendency to explode …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Dec 2016
Bob and Doug McKenzie of Canada

Canada asks citizens: How would you like us to spy on you?

The Canadian government is asking citizens to weigh in on its plans for digital surveillance programs. A government-hosted page called Investigative Capabilities in a Digital World seeks input from residents on matters such as intercepting communications, forcing data decryption, and requiring service providers in Canada to …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Dec 2016

US axes $722m takeover of chip biz by Chinese investors. Thanks, Obama!

President Obama has issued an executive order to kill the proposed acquisition of semiconductor specialist Aixtron by Chinese investors. The White House on Friday put out the presidential order citing national security concerns in denying the $722m buyout by Aixtron SE by Grand Chip Investment GMBH. The order suggests that …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Dec 2016
Donald Trump thumbs up photo via Shutterstock

VCs to Trump: You know what would really make America great? Tax breaks for VCs

A group of venture capitalists are asking US President-elect Donald Trump to implement a series of tax cuts and policies they say will bring more funding for startups. In a letter (PDF) to the real-estate mogul turned-politician, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) asks for tax breaks for ventural capital companies …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Dec 2016
iPhone 6S battery

Apple blames air for iPhone 6S's narcolepsy

Apple says a defect caused during manufacturing is to blame for some iPhones randomly shutting themselves down. The Cupertino giant said in a support article that some iPhone 6S handsets have batteries that degrade much faster than expected and tend to shut themselves off when the batt is at 30 per cent charge. "We found that …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Dec 2016

'AWS is fast, punches above its weight, stings Oracle, but no knockout'

AWS re:Invent Amazon made news in a big way this week, kicking out more than a dozen new features and services for the AWS cloud at its annual re:Invent conference. The Bezos money machine announced products ranging from database offerings to DDoS protection and developer tools at its annual cloud compute summit. While industry analysts …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Dec 2016

AWS CTO: 'I truly hated the relationship with software tool vendors'

AWS re:Invent Amazon Web Services turned its focus to developers in day two of its re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, kicking out a handful of new features designed to make life easier for those who develop and maintain cloud applications. CTO Werner Vogels said that the features, ranging from new analysis utilities to storage management …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Dec 2016
milhouse_vs_nelson_648

No, Andy, AWS and Oracle aren't in a database death match

AWS re:Invent Speaking at his opening keynote for the 2016 re:Invent conference, AWS chief Andy Jassy made a point of going after Oracle. The repeated jabs at the Redwood City goliath and its iconic boss Larry Ellison came fast as Jassy showed off new AWS database offerings, and raised speculation that perhaps AWS and Oracle would be going …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Dec 2016