Kieren McCarthy

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Researchers take the piss with pee-powered liquid energy project

Boffins in Bristol have the perfect solution to the two most common late-night problems: finding somewhere to urinate and keeping your phone charged. Liquid lab techs at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory have figured out a way to take power from your pee, using an array of cylinders containing electro-active micro-organisms to …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jun 2017

Ego stroking, effusive praise and promise of billions: White House tech meeting in full

Monday afternoon saw the first meeting of the "American Technology Council" at the White House, during which most of the country's top tech CEOs gathered around to talk about what could be done to modernize the US government's abysmal IT systems. Much of the coverage has focused on the personality of president Donald Trump and …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jun 2017

Costa Rica complains of US govt harassment over Pirate Bay domain

The operator of Costa Rica's .cr internet registry has formally complained that it is being harassed by the US government over The Pirate Bay domain on its system. In a letter [PDF] sent to the head of the Governmental Advisory Committee of DNS overseer ICANN, the president of the Costa Rican Academy of Science, Dr Pedro Leon …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jun 2017
SMS hacking

Mexican government accused of illegal phone hacking of citizens

An investigation by Mexican NGOs and a Canadian tech lab has revealed how the Mexican government is illegally targeting the mobile phones of journalists, lawyers and activists to spy on them. R3D, SocialTic, Article 19 and CitizenLab report that the government has been sending malware links to specific individuals' phones, …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Jun 2017

Uber's New York competitor sued over driver equity scheme

Drivers of Uber-competitor Juno have taken out a class action lawsuit against the company, claiming that it ripped them off with an equity ownership scheme that was designed to attract them to the service. When it launched in early 2016, the New York City company came up with a novel way to attract drivers to its service – …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Jun 2017
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You can't take the pervs off Facebook, says US Supreme Court

Facebook is a sex offender-friendly zone – by order of the Supreme Court. The unanimous decision by the justices strikes down a North Carolina law that forbade anyone found guilty of a sex crime from using "commercial social networking websites" such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, using the logic that they allow minors to …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Jun 2017

Insert coin: Atari retro console is coming back

Atari confirmed on Friday that the reborn biz will indeed produce its own games console, understood to be built out of PC tech. Earlier this month, a vague video emerged on Youtube showing what looks like the top of an old Atari console complete with wood paneling. That now appears to have been part of the company's ongoing …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Jun 2017

Yet more reform efforts at the Euro Patent Office, and you'll never guess what...

Another raft of reforms at the troubled European Patent Office has come to light and, yet again, the main purpose appears to be to enhance the power of EPO president Benoit Battistelli. The structural changes are just the latest in a long series of changes pushed by Battistelli over the past two years, and will be considered …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Jun 2017
Source: CBS Boston

Teen girl who texted boyfriend to kill himself guilty of manslaughter

The teenager who repeatedly urged and encouraged her boyfriend to kill himself with hundreds of text messages has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Michelle Carter, now 20, was 17 when she spent several months pushing 18-year-old Conrad Roy – who she referred to as her boyfriend – to commit suicide. Most …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Jun 2017
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When we said don't link to the article, Google, we meant DON'T LINK TO THE ARTICLE!

A German court has given Google a hearty slap over its grudging response to "right to be forgotten" laws, telling it that not linking to information means exactly that: not linking to information. The Higher Regional Court of Munich issued an injunction [PDF] against the search engine company, telling it not to forward …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jun 2017

Look who's joined the anti-encryption posse: Germany, come on down

Germany has joined an increasing number of countries looking to introduce anti-encryption laws. Speaking on Wednesday, German interior minister Thomas de Maizière said the government was preparing a new law that would give the authorities the right to decipher and read private encrypted messages, specifically citing encrypted …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jun 2017

Europe-wide BitTorrent indexer blockade looms after Pirate Bay blow

Analysis Europe's highest court has ruled that notorious torrent search engine The Pirate Bay infringes copyright, opening the door for ISPs across the continent to be obliged to block access to it. The decision is just the latest in a seven-year legal battle between Dutch anti-piracy group Brein and ISPs Ziggo and XS4All, and provides …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jun 2017
Judge gavel, photo via Shutterstock

Judge holds Uber's feet to the fire over alleged Waymo tech theft

Analysis A California judge is not taking any nonsense in the ongoing self-driving tech theft case between Uber and Google-owned Waymo. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Corley ruled earlier this month that Uber must hand over what may be critical due diligence reports in the case. She was immediately faced with a wave of letters, legal …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Jun 2017

Trump nominates a pro-net-neutrality advocate as FCC commish

President Donald Trump has nominated former FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to rejoin the US federal telecom regulator, filling a seat made empty by... herself. There are actually two empty seats on the five-person FCC board – one Democrat and one Republican – but uncharacteristically, Trump did not announce a Republican …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Jun 2017

Ever wonder why those Apple iPhone updates take so damn long?

It's a recurring pain experienced by all iPhone owners: the huge and very slow software updates that require you to plug your phone in and forget about it for 30 minutes. Many have also wondered why the phone feels the need to shut down, start up again, shut down again and start up again before finally letting you get at it. …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jun 2017

Just days after tech community abandons plans to punish internet shutdowns… Egypt goes censorship crazy

Egypt has embarked on a new wave of online censorship, blocking news websites and killing off VPN services in order to limit its citizens' access to information. Over the past three weeks, the Egyptian authorities have blocked access to more than 50 news websites, including Al Jazeera and local newspapers Daily News Egypt, Al- …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jun 2017
5eyes

Five Eyes nations stare menacingly at tech biz and its encryption

Officials from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will discuss next month plans to force tech companies to break encryption on their products. The so-called Five Eyes nations have a long-standing agreement to gather and share intelligence from across the globe. They will meet in Canada …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jun 2017
Stop sign in front of a bush. Image via Shutterstock

Germany puts halt on European unitary patent

Europe's effort to create a single patent system has been thrown into confusion following a decision by Germany's constitutional court to halt legislation ratifying it. According to German media reports, since confirmed by a court spokesperson, the court received a complaint from an as-yet-unnamed individual arguing that the …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jun 2017

Two leading ladies of Europe warn that internet regulation is coming

The two most powerful women in Europe still have their eyes firmly on internet regulation. Fresh from her failure in the UK general election, still-prime minister Theresa May used her first public address announcing a new coalition government to stress that she will continue her self-declared "cracking down on the ideology of …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Jun 2017

Uber board: We accept all recommendations. Any execs left to carry them out?

Uber's board has accepted all the recommendations made in a report into sexual harassment – which may include giving its controversial CEO a leave of absence. The report by former attorney general Eric Holder was discussed over the weekend by the ride-hailing app's directors, and the decision to agree to every recommendation …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Jun 2017
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You know this net neutrality thing? Well, people really love it

It's a funny thing, but the ability to buy an internet connection and not have the company you buy it from control what you can see and at what speed you can see it is a popular thing in the Land of the FreeTM. According to a poll by Ipsos and commissioned by open source software developer Mozilla, no less than 76 per cent of …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Jun 2017

Afrinic shuts down IP address shutdown over internet shutdowns

A proposal to punish African governments for shutting down internet access by refusing to give them any new IP addresses for a year has been shot down. At a meeting in Nairobi, the body that oversees allocation of IP addresses in Africa – Afrinic – formally killed the idea off, noting that it "might antagonize governments in a …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Jun 2017
Raiders of the lost ark

Ex-NSA bod sues US govt for 'illegally spying' on Americans: We drill into 'explosive' 'lawsuit'

Analysis In an extraordinary and expansive lawsuit, former CIA and NSA contractor Dennis Montgomery has teamed up with the lawyer who brought down the NSA's mass surveillance operation – Larry Klayman – to sue all the US intelligence services and their former and current heads personally, as well as former president Barack Obama, for …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Jun 2017

Teen texted boyfriend to kill himself. It worked. Will the law change to deal with digital reality?

Prosecutors in the US who want to send 18-year-old Michelle Carter to jail for her boyfriend's suicide have rested their case after three days in court. The Massachusetts teenager is charged with involuntary manslaughter after she sent hundreds of texts to her then-lover Conrad Roy III back in 2014 urging him to follow through …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Jun 2017

State senator sacked by broadband biz Frontier after voting in favor of broadband competition

"I bet you that cost me my job," West Virginia Senate president, Republican Mitch Carmichael, jokingly told colleagues in April when he voted for a new measure that would expand broadband competition in his state. Just over a month later it turned out to be true, when he was fired from his job as a sales manager at Frontier …
Kieren McCarthy, 07 Jun 2017

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