Shaun Nichols

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Verizon set to pay $64 MEEELLION for overbilling customers

Verizon has agreed to pay $64m to settle claims that the mobile carrier overcharged some customers on their bills. According to copies of the settlement posted online, Verizon will issue both cash payments for customers and credits for free calls. The settlement would put aside claims that the company overcharged some of its US …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Oct 2014
Assassin's Creed III

NATO declares WAR on Google Glass, mounts attack alongside MPAA

Moviegoers will soon be asked to stash their Google Glass before taking in a flick, much like they're asked to pocket their mobile phones today. The National Association of Theater Owners (NATO... no, really!) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) said in a joint statement that NATO's member theaters would …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Oct 2014

Hate the BlackBerry Z10 and Passport? How about this dusty old flashback instead?

The barren husk of BlackBerry is looking to recapture a stake in the smartphone market by going back to its roots as a maker of business communication devices. The company said that its upcoming BlackBerry Classic (née Q20) handset, which is expected to launch in November, will hearken back to the days when BlackBerry's name was …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Oct 2014

FCC boss Wheeler clears way for internet TV and cable unbundling

Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler has outlined a plan which could lead to a change in the way Americans pay for television and internet services. The FCC boss said in a late Tuesday blog post that internet TV services should be afforded the same access rights to network programming as satellite TV providers …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Oct 2014
Google sign outside Mountain View headquarters

OK Google, do I have CANCER?

Google says it is looking to develop a pill that could help detect the early stages of cancer or heart disease. A researcher with the company's Google X project said that the Chocolate Factory's skunkworks is examining how nanoparticles could be used to detect the two potentially fatal illnesses before they get too serious. …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Oct 2014
Pirate Flag

Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?

The Motion Picture Ass. of America (MPAA) is once again looking to rat out known piracy hotbeds to the US government, both online and in real life – and Canada's largest urban center remains high on its list. The MPAA said on Monday that it had provided the office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) with a list of markets that …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Oct 2014

Rise of the machines: Silicon Valley hardware store to deploy ROBOTS for customer service

A California hardware store has decided to bring everyone's dystopian nightmares to life by using robots to perform basic customer service. Home repairs chain Orchard Supply Hardware, a subsidiary of Lowe's, plans to trial a device dubbed the OSHbot, a mobile robot capable of fielding customer requests and guiding DIYers to the …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Oct 2014

Amazon wants YOU to LOOK OVER its BOOKS – its slush pile, that is

Amazon wants you to help it figure out what books it should publish and sell on its e-book store. The company said on Monday that its Kindle Scout platform will enlist readers to review excerpts of unpublished books and vote for which ones should be published by Amazon's Kindle Press division. According to the company, any US- …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Oct 2014

Planning to fly? Pour out your shampoo, toss your scissors, RENAME TERRORIST WI-FI!

A US airline delayed a flight on Sunday evening after an unidentified person somewhere in or around Los Angeles International Airport picked a rather unfortunate name for a Wi-Fi hotspot. American Airlines Flight 136 from Los Angeles to London was grounded for nearly a day after a passenger spotted a Wi-Fi network named "Al- …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Oct 2014
Angry woman on mobile

Cheapo telcos fined for their cheapo security: Financial records on 305,000 people spilled

American watchdog the FCC is fining a pair of US mobile operators for an astonishing lack of security in handling customer information. The commission said that TerraCom Wireless and YourTel Wireless improperly stored information on 305,000 customers and will have to pay a joint fine of $10m split between the two firms as a …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Oct 2014

FCC: You'll have to wait EVEN LONGER for faster wireless broadband

The FCC confirmed today that it will delay its planned wireless broadband spectrum auction until at least 2016. The US regulator blamed a court case for holding up efforts to sell TV frequencies to cell networks, which will then use the airwaves for faster and broader mobile data services. The commission hoped to auction off …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Oct 2014

Revealed: The amazing magical innovation in the iPad Mini 3 – a lick of paint

Teardown Ready to ditch your iPad Mini 2 for the latest and greatest miniature fondleslab from Apple? You may not get much more for your money. Hardware teardown specialist iFixit has dismantled of the iPad Mini 3 and found that, underneath a pile of glue and some gold paint, it's more or less the same tablet as the iPad Mini 2. iFixit …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Oct 2014

Remember the Aereo streaming TV service? Wasn't it COOL? Well, it's pretty much dead now

Embattled streaming TV service Aereo was dealt a fatal blow Thursday as a US judge barred the service from broadcasting live television streams. Judge Alison Nathan ruled in favor of the broadcasting companies looking to bar the service from showing their feeds to customers online, issuing a temporary injunction to block the …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Oct 2014
Facebook Rooms

GET A ROOM, yells Facebook as it stumbles on IRC, slaps it in an app

Facebook has built an internet chat-room app that lets people anonymously gossip with one another, just like on IRC. The social network said its Rooms software for iOS lets netizens connect on shared interests and use pseudonyms in order to hide their identities from each other. Just like IRC. People can create their own room …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Oct 2014
ello

Hello, Ello. Still no ads and no features to sell. What do? Bag $5.5m

Hipster-chic anti-Facebook wannabe Ello is today $5.5m richer, apparently – and hopes to silence critics of its no-ads manifesto with a renewed vow to never sell adverts nor user data. The social network upstart has declared itself a public benefit corporation with a statement never to plonk ads on its site or flog private …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Oct 2014
iMac with Retina 5K Display

Forget the $2499 5K iMac – today we reveal Apple's most expensive computer to date

Pic When Bonhams put a vintage Apple I computer on the block, the Brit auction house thought the tech antique would fetch as much as $500,000. It was wrong. Instead, the 1970s-era circuit board fetched an eye-watering $905,000 (£564,000) in New York on Wednesday. The winning bid came from the Henry Ford Museum, which said it will …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Oct 2014

Disney and chums halt Comcast-TWC, AT&T-DirecTV weddings

US watchdog the FCC has hit the brakes while scrutinizing the proposed mergers of Comcast-Time Warner, and AT&T-DirecTV. On Wednesday, the comms industry monitor said [PDF] that its comment and review processes for the pair of mergers would be put on hold following pressure to publish the cable companies' contracts with TV …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Oct 2014

Pay a tax on every gigabyte you download? Haha, that's too funny. But not to Hungarians

Hungary is threatening to tax its broadband providers for every gigabyte their subscribers use. The Fidesz-run European nation said that it would charge ISPs 150 forints (around 60 US cents or 39p in the UK) for each gig transferred. Hungary shifted 1,150PB in 2013, and 18PB in mobile data, according to figures from consultancy …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Oct 2014
The standard USB 3 connector

Google puts Chrome credentials on USB drives for two-factor authentication

Google has announced support for a platform which will allow users to log into applications by pressing a button on a secured USB drive. The company announced that it will add support for the Security Key platform into Google applications on Chrome. The decision brings two-factor authentication to0 Google's apps. Security Key …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Oct 2014
Lyft cars

San Franciscans: Lyft and UberX want to take you to the airport

Bay Area residents looking to get to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) received another option this week when Uber announced it had agreed with authorities on a plan to allow UberX and Lyft drivers to travel to and from the airport. The airport said that the deal would allow the amateur driver service to make trips to …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Oct 2014
Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer

Marissa! Mayer! ends! 21! month! dry! spell! as! Yahoo! sales! grow!

Yahoo! is living in hope of a financial resurgence as the company logged a rare uptick in revenues. The Purple Palace said its third-quarter GAAP revenues rose one per cent over the same period last year to $1.148bn, up from $1.139bn in 2013. This marks the first time in seven quarters the firm was able to increase GAAP revenues …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Oct 2014
iPad Psycho image

Post-PC era? PAH! Apple says Macs OUTSOLD iPads in Q4

Peak tablet In case you'd forgotten that Apple is making money hand over fist, the company announced on Monday yet another record financial quarter – thanks to its iPhones and Macs, but no thanks to its iPads. The House that Steve Built said the fourth quarter of its 2014 financial year – ending September 27 – was its best ever Q4, as Mac …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Oct 2014
Apple iPhone 6

Apple flings iOS 8.1 at world+dog: Our AMAZEBALLS 9-step installation guide

Apple has rolled out iOS 8.1, enabling features on the iPhone 6 and other new Apple devices. The company said the 8.1 update will allow users to begin using the Apple Pay platform with their iPhone 6 and 6 Plus NFC-enabled handsets. This allows users to link their bank accounts with the Apple Pay software, so when the phone is …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Oct 2014
Lego Pirate Captain

YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results

Advert slinger Google has said it's started burying websites that help people illegally download copyrighted stuff. The web giant claimed today it sinks pro-piracy sites way down its search results – yes, beyond page two, the grim wastelands of the web. It's hoped this may dissuade people from seeking out pirated movies, games, …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Oct 2014
Satya Nadella

Damage control (noun): When Microsoft's CEO kickstarts diversity plan after women pay gaffe

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who earlier this month made astonishingly sexist comments to a room full of women, has decided it's about time to make his workforce more diverse. The Microsoft boss said in a leaked memo to employees that the software giant would begin a series of initiatives including making sure that employees …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Oct 2014

FCC looks to boost next-gen wireless networks with 24GHz study

The FCC is opening up a probe into a possible new class of wireless broadband services which could improve mobile network performance and reliability in the US. The watchdog said that it would be examining the possibility of opening up very high frequency 24GHz spectrum space for use by future mobile broadband networks, possibly …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Oct 2014
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Man, that iPhone 6 Plus won't fit in my pocket. Oh, here's a mobe store that'll resize my jeans

A retailer in China has found a novel way to accommodate the added dimensions of Apple's iPhone 6 Plus – adjust customers' pants* to fit the large handset. Tech in Asia spotted a China Unicom store offering free tailor services to customers who purchase Apple's 5.5in phablet. The in-store tailor. Credit: Amakura on Weibo The …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Oct 2014
iPad mini 3

Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS

Buried in the hypegasm around the new iPad Air 2 and Mini 3 is a genuinely earthshaking reveal from Apple that could seriously change the way people buy their data. The iGiant has a introduced a software SIM card in "cellular" versions of the iPad Air 2 and Mini 3 models that can be configured to work with various carriers in …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Oct 2014
Google Fiber

Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)

Another US city will be get a high-speed fiber broadband network courtesy of Google, though it is a few months late. Google's Austin Fiber website confirms that starting in December, residents will be able to start signing up for the gigabit-a-second service. The launch will make Austin the third US city to get a Google Fiber …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Oct 2014
iPad mini 3

iPad AIR 2 and iPad MINI 3, 5K iMac: World feels different today – and it IS

Pics Confirming what had been widely expected, Apple has unveiled two new iPad models – small and large – and laid out plans for a third. There's also a new shiny 5K iMac. The big news, though, is that the "soft SIM" war his finally begun. At a launch event in Cupertino for its pet hacks, Apple said the new iPad Air 2 will be …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Oct 2014

City council thinks what we're all thinking: 'Comcast is terrible – and NOT welcome here'

New England's second-largest city has hit out against a proposed deal that would take place should Comcast's acquisition of Time Warner Cable go through. The city council of Worcester has voted not to approve the transfer of its cable television and broadband services from Charter Communications to Comcast as part of an agreed …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Oct 2014
iPad iPod app

Apple hit by INSIDER LEAK: New iPad Mini 3, iPad Air 2 blabbed

Pic Apple is expected to show off new iPads at an event on Thursday – but if you want to know the features of Cupertino's latest fondleslabs before they're announced, you need look no further than the company's own user manuals. Pages in Apple's iPad User Guide for iOS 8.1, which hit the iTunes Store on Wednesday, diagram some of …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Oct 2014

Twitter, Cloudflare kill SSL 3.0 ... and here's how YOU CAN TOO

Poodle Websites and web browser makers are moving quickly to ditch the outdated SSL 3.0 encryption protocol for HTTPS following the discovering of a worrying design flaw. On Tuesday, Google researchers published details about the shortcoming, dubbed POODLE, which allows eavesdroppers to crack encrypted web traffic. More specifically, …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Oct 2014
Oracle headquarters

Done with Microsoft and Adobe patches? Good, here's Oracle's load

Oracle is piling on this month's Patch Tuesday with a collection of security fixes for 16 of its enterprise software platforms. Among the massive wad of updates will be a package of 25 bug fixes for Java SE, 22 of which are remotely exploitable without authentication and 12 of which allow an attacker to take complete control of …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Oct 2014

Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!

It's no secret that Silicon Valley is a workplace that favours youth. Not just because the young have new ideas and perspectives, but also because 20-something geeks who work with all their friends have no problem putting in 60 hours a week cracking out code. Now, it seems that some of the biggest names in the business are …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Oct 2014

It's 2014 and you can still own a Windows box using a Word file or font

Patch Tuesday Microsoft has today patched two dozen CVE-classified security vulnerabilities in its software. People are urged to install them as soon as possible. The US giant said the October edition of Patch Tuesday includes three critical fixes to address flaws in Internet Explorer, the .NET Framework and Windows kernel-mode driver. The …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Oct 2014
Hawk hits drone

Bird of HEY.... that's MY DRONE! Hawk attacks geek's quadcopter in nature v machine clash

Vid A man in the Boston area of the United States has captured remarkable footage of a hawk strike – at the expense of his quadcopter drone. Christopher Schmidt said he was flying his hobby craft in Cambridge earlier this week when a hawk began to circle. Schmidt, who equipped the quadcopter with a GoPro camera, said he powered down …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Oct 2014
Ross Ulbricht

Judge nukes Ulbricht's complaint about WARRANTLESS FBI Silk Road server raid

A US District Court has shot down a motion to toss out the government's evidence against alleged Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht, ruling that the FBI's investigation did not violate Ulbricht's Fourth Amendment rights. In a 38-page ruling, District Judge Katherine Forrest wrote that the defense could not exclude evidence …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Oct 2014
Muscular man stripping off his shirt

Slap for SnapChat web app in SNAP mishap: '200,000' snaps sapped

Tens of thousands of stolen private SnapChat photos and vids are being plastered across the internet for perverts to download and ogle, it's claimed. SnapChat says it isn't to blame. When word spread on 4chan's notorious /b/ board that someone had allegedly swiped as many as 200,000 SnapChat files from strangers, it was feared …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Oct 2014

Crims zapped mobes, slabs we collared for evidence, wail cops

You know that nifty remote wipe function that takes all the photos off your phone when it gets lost? Turns out criminals know about it too, and they're using it to wipe phones taken by police as evidence. The BBC has heard from a few UK forces that report some of the mobes and tablets they've taken in as evidence have been …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Oct 2014
Uber logo

Let down by a lousy UberX driver? They probably skipped the 'optional $65 customer service training course'

Amid complaints about some badly behaving drivers, you may not be surprised to hear that Uber's training course for cabbies is not only optional – it costs them $65 each to sit through it, apparently. A Forbes blog post claims the taxi app maker's bargain-basement UberX service charges drivers to take a class on providing good …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Oct 2014
Satya Nadella

WOMEN, your 'SUPERPOWER' is ... NOT asking for a RAISE: Satya Nadella

Updated Satya Nadella has made his first major gaffe as Microsoft CEO, making several rather unwise comments to a room full of women working in tech. Speaking at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing event, the Redmond honcho told the audience that women should avoid asking for a raise – and instead rely on "karma". "It's …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Oct 2014

Breaking news: Man with Apple shares really wishes they were worth even more

Apple's $603,580,000,000 market cap – the largest ever in history – isn't big enough for Carl Icahn. The activist investor said Thursday that Apple is UNDERVALUED, and CEO Tim Cook should do more to massively increase the stock price. Icahn, who owns 53 million shares in Apple, thinks the $101 stock price is too low, and he has …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Oct 2014
Newton MessagePad 120 - logo

Brace yourself for a 12-inch Apple maxiPAD – probably... maybe... ish

Apple will summon its pet hacks to the Cupertino mothership this month for yet another orchestrated product unveiling. We're told the iGiant has sent out invites for a "special event" at the company's headquarters in California on October 16. It has not provided further details on the event, though the tagline "it's been way too …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Oct 2014
Angry woman on mobile

AT&T to fork out less than two days' profit in bogus bill charge flap

AT&T has been ordered to cough up $105m by US trade watchdog the FTC after allowing miscreants to whack bogus charges on Americans' cellphone bills. The commission said the telco giant would be on the hook for $80m in refunds to customers, and an additional $25m in fines and penalties to settle claims that it allowed third …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Oct 2014
Facebook privacy image

Woman says narco-cops used her PICS to snare drug lords on Facebook

A woman is suing the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), alleging that the agency impersonated her online in order to lure suspected criminals. Sondra Arquiett claims that a DEA agent used photos taken from her mobile phone to create a fake Facebook page, which the agency then used to help corral drug suspects. According to a …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Oct 2014
School kids

What do teenagers love doing? That's right: Staying up all night ... debugging

Sauce vat GitHub has bundled together a set of free and low-cost programming tools and resources for teenagers. The website said its Student Developer Pack is for aspiring developers aged 13 and up. "There's no substitute for hands-on experience, but for most students, real world tools can be cost prohibitive," GitHub said in …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Oct 2014

Siri ... why is this semi headed RIGHT AT ME? Phone apps distracting as ever – new study

Using your phone's cyber-slave by voice while focusing on the road? You're not as safe as you think, according to AAA. The US auto club said it found apps such as Siri, and in-car personal assistant systems, are far more distracting than expected. A study [PDF] AAA carried out with the University of Utah found that using voice …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Oct 2014
Facebook WhatsApp

WhatsApp, Zuck? Facebook finally finishes $22bn upstart gobble

Having secured the blessing of European regulators, Facebook has completed its $21.8bn acquisition of WhatsApp. The company on Monday finalized with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that the deal, which adds up to about $50 per user account, has now been finished, complete with a $4.59bn cash payout to WhatsApp …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Oct 2014
Facebook poster

Hey, get the ZUCK up – let's unionize Facebook buses, cry Teamsters

The Teamsters Union is lobbying Facebook to recognize a unionization of the company's bus drivers – the ones shuttling FB'ers to and from work in Menlo Park every day. The union said in an open letter [PDF] to CEO Mark Zuckerberg that it was looking to include the private coach drivers in its Local 853 group in hopes of …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Oct 2014