Kieren McCarthy

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Vermont becomes fifth US state to boot up its own net neutrality rules

Vermont has become the fifth US state to adopt net neutrality regulations, joining Montana, New Jersey, Hawaii, and New York. State governor Phil Scott signed an executive order Thursday noting that "the principles of net neutrality are inherently tied to the provision of reliable, high-quality broadband Internet service for …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Feb 2018

FCC inspector general sticks corruption probe into chairman Ajit Pai amid $4bn media merger

Analysis The chairman of America's broadband watchdog – the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – is under investigation by the regulator's inspector general following a series of decisions that appear to favor one of the country's largest media owners. Since taking over as chair in January 2017, Ajit Pai has made big play of his …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Feb 2018

Magic Leap's staggering VR goggle technology just got even better!

Comment Not content with promising the product he has been hyping for six years, this week the CEO of Magic Leap revealed that his yet-to-ship virtual-reality headset technology will be even better than the previous gibberish he spouted. Rony Abovitz appeared on stage at a media conference alongside none other than NBA Commissioner …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Feb 2018

Crypto-gurus: Which idiots told the FBI that Feds-only backdoors in encryption are possible?

Four cryptography experts have backed a US Senator's campaign to force the FBI to explain how exactly a Feds-only backdoor can be added to strong and secure encryption. The four are: Stanford professor Martin Hellman, of Diffie-Hellman fame and who helped invent the foundations of today's crypto systems; Columbia professor and …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Feb 2018

Pressure mounts on FCC to cough up answers over fake net neutrality comments

Analysis US lawmakers have weighed in on the FCC's controversial vote to scrap America's net neutrality rules, demanding information on the millions of fake comments submitted to the watchdog's public consultation on the decision – and asking pointed questions about how the federal regulator handled them. "We write to request …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Feb 2018

FCC commish gobbles Verizon's phone-locking BS, says it tastes great

Analysis An FCC commissioner has come under fire for seemingly suggesting that Verizon should be granted a legal waiver from his own agency's rules. On Monday, Verizon said that, from this spring, it will start locking down newly purchased smartphones for an unspecified period of time – despite a long-standing and legally binding …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Feb 2018

It's official: .corp, .home, .mail will never be top-level domains on the 'net

You will never be able to own an official .home, .mail or .corp domain name or email address on the public internet. It means if you have machines called things like storage.home or buildserver.corp on your home or private business network, you can be sure no one will be able to buy domains like storage.home or buildserver. …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Feb 2018

Facebook gets Weed-whacked: Unilever exec may axe ads over social network's toxic posts

In a highly unusual public rebuke, monster-company Unilever gave Facebook both barrels over its "toxic content" – and threatened to pull its advertising from the antisocial network. Speaking today at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual leadership meeting in Palm Desert, California, Unilever's chief marketing officer …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Feb 2018
Bribes

US states accused of skimming cash from 911 emergency call dosh

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has warned that multiple US states are using money designated for emergency services to fund other unrelated projects. In a report released to the public earlier this week, America's comms regulator noted that at least $129m of the money gathered through the Emergency Telephone Users …

Uh-oh! Someone hit the Kalanick button! Uber's fired CEO claims Waymo deal vindicates him

Comment The man responsible for dragging the reputation of one of the tech world's biggest names through the mud, into the gutter, and in circles around raw sewage has claimed today's out-of-court Waymo-Uber settlement vindicates him. Yes, folks, Travis Kalanick is being a prick right to the very end. "As Uber’s statement indicates, …
Cheque, photo via Shutterstock

Uber and its 245 million reasons to settle with Google's Waymo

Analysis It was just one more twist in an extraordinary story: this morning Uber settled its San Francisco court battle with rival Waymo for $245m in stock. "We have reached an agreement with Uber that we believe will protect Waymo’s intellectual property now and into the future," said a spokesperson for the Google-owned self-driving …

As GDPR draws close, ICANN suggests 12 conflicting ways to cure domain privacy pains

Incoming European privacy laws which carry a global impact for anyone doing business in the Union are continuing to cause an epic policy meltdown at internet overseer ICANN. This week the European Commission responded [PDF] to the US-based organization's latest efforts to resolve a stark conflict between the domain name system …
Stack of cash

Tech giants' payouts go to everyone but affected citizens. US Supremes now urged to sort it out

A group of 16 US state attorneys general are urging America's Supreme Court to tear up an $8.5m legal settlement from Google – because none of the cash will go to the folks the class-action lawsuit was brought on behalf of. Led by the attorney general of Arizona, Mark Brnovich, the legal eagles have taken issue with the fact …
Travis Kalanick, Uber's CEO

Laser sauce, cheat code, jam seshs: The Waymo vs Uber trial kicks off

Analysis According to former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, a "cheat code" is tech bro slang for a hack. Or, in his words, "elegant solutions to problems that haven't already been thought of." The lawyers who were lined up against him in a San Francisco courtroom on Wednesday morning are pretty sure that "cheat code" follows a more …

Beware the looming Google Chrome HTTPS certificate apocalypse!

Tens of thousands of websites are going to find themselves labeled as unsafe unless they switch out their HTTPS certificate in the next two months. Thanks to a decision in September by Google to stop trusting Symantec-issued SSL/TLS certs, from mid-April Chrome browser users visiting websites using a certificate from the …

Of course a mystery website attacking city-run broadband was run by an ISP. Of course

Analysis Cable biz Fidelity Communications has been forced to admit it was behind an astroturfing campaign against a city-run fiber network in America's Midwest. The campaign, titled Stop City-Funded Internet, started last month with a website and accompanying social media handles, and has been a persistent critic of efforts by West …

US broadband is scarce, slow and expensive. 'Great!' says the FCC

Analysis Fifteen million Americans don't have access to broadband internet. For those that do, the United States has close to the slowest speeds among advanced economies. And for that, Americans pay more than almost anyone else. Those are what should be the main findings of the annual broadband report from the Federal Communications …

Patience you must have, says Voda: Biz in talks with Liberty Global for grabbing Euro assets

Brit-based comms colossus Vodafone is mulling snapping up wedges of European networks owned by American telecoms giant Liberty Global. You may recall Voda and Liberty from such films as: Dial M for Merger, and The Erotic Adventures of Two Communications Goliaths. There have been rumors floating around since 2015 that the two …

A tiny Ohio village turned itself into a $3m speed-cam trap. Now it has to pay back the fines

A tiny village in America has been ordered to pay back more than $3m in speeding fines it collected from motorists – after its claims of "sovereign immunity" were laughed out of court. The town of New Miami, an hour's drive from Cincinnati, Ohio, boasts a population of just 2,200, and an annual budget of $1.75m. That budget …

Nunes FBI memo: Yep, it's every bit as terrible as you imagined

Analysis Friday morning, as expected, the US House Intelligence Committee released a four-page memo outlining what it claims is evidence that the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the FBI illegally requested that a former advisor to President Trump be put under surveillance. The document [PDF] has been the source of frenzied attention …

As Facebook pushes yet more fake articles, one news editor tells Mark to get a grip – or Zuck off

Analysis If ever there was an argument for why journalism is not only important but a profession requiring a broad set of specific skills, then Facebook's seeming inability to do news is it. Despite the social media giant being hauled over the coals for several months for failing to limit – or even recognize – widespread abuse of its …
California

Super Cali's unrealistic net neutrality process – even though the sound of it is something quite... ferocious

California's attempt to retain net neutrality rules despite being repealed at the federal level, won't make it past a legal challenge, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has warned. Earlier this week, the California Senate passed SB460, which is legislation that would reimpose open-internet rules agreed to by the federal …

So you accidentally told a million people they are going to die: What next? Your essential guide...

Analysis It's a common enough scenario: you are in charge of a critical piece of your company's computing infrastructure, and you make a simple mistake with far-reaching implications. It could be a mail server misdirecting internal documents into journalists' inboxes, or a poorly configured border firewall. Perhaps you accidentally …
Kieren McCarthy, 31 Jan 2018

FBI slams secret Nunes memo alleging Feds spied on Team Trump for political reasons

Analysis The FBI has slammed a still-secret memo that claims the bureau was politically motivated when it requested a wiretap on a key advisor of Donald Trump during his presidential campaign. In a statement released Wednesday, the law enforcement agency said it was "provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the …
Kieren McCarthy, 31 Jan 2018

California Senate OKs net neutrality law, gives FCC cold hard long stare

California has moved one step closer to passing net neutrality legislation in defiance of a decision by America's telecoms regulator, the FCC, to scrap the protections nationwide. On Monday, the state Senate approved SB460 by 21 votes to 12 along party lines (one Democrat voted against the measure; no Republicans voted in …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Jan 2018

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