Kieren McCarthy

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US Congress seizes net neutrality, stuffs it into a bipartisan black hole

The number of US senators supporting an effort to overturn the repeal of America net neutrality rules has jumped to 40, setting up a Congressional vote on the issue in early spring. Unfortunately, as a press conference held on Tuesday morning in Washington DC made plain, political support for the measure is almost entirely …

Who's that at Ring's door? Why, it's Skybell with a begging cup, er, patent rip-off lawsuit

Smart home doorbell maker Ring has had a bad start to the year with the delivery of a patent infringement lawsuit courtesy of competitor Skybell. Skybell filed its case [PDF] on Friday in a southern California district court, just days before Ring launched a range of new indoor and outdoor security cameras and a line of …

US Senators force vote on Ctrl-Z'ing America's net neutrality death

The controversial repeal of net neutrality rules in America will go to a formal vote in Congress after sufficient lawmakers backed an effort to scrap it. There are now more than 30 Senators that have cosponsored a resolution [PDF] under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the effort by the Federal Communications …

Nest's slick IoT burglar alarm catches crooks... while it eyes your wallet

Review Not that long ago, a thermostat was just a thermostat. It was a beige box that was often installed by someone who came out to your house or office. It did what it did. Turned the heat on, turned the heat off. Had a schedule. Then came Nest, which promised to bring the ugly beige box into the internet era with sexy styling, …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Dec 2017

To Puerto Ricans: A Register apology

We would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the residents of Puerto Rico, and especially those who will not have cell phone coverage over Christmas. It is, we are ashamed to admit, entirely our fault. This is a special time of year, and we feel dreadful for robbing more than 500,000 Puerto Ricans of the opportunity …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Dec 2017
Image: Seinfield. Credit: NBC.

Euro Patent Office fails miserably in key accountability case

The Administrative Council of the European Patent Office (EPO) has inflamed already heightened tensions within the organization by failing to properly address an important accountability test case. The ruling body of the international organization – made up of representatives of European governments – was formally criticized …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Dec 2017

Magic Leap blows our mind with its incredible technology... that still doesn't f**king exist

Comment It has kept everyone waiting but Magic Leap has finally revealed that… there are still publications stupid enough to keep printing its bullshit. This time around it is the desperate-to-please tech arm of Rolling Stone, Glixel. Glixel shuttered its San Francisco office earlier this year: a loss for tech journalism but a golden …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Dec 2017
Batman. Credit: DC Comics.

Autsch! Germany slaps Facebook in its abusive little face for 'limitlessly amassing data'

Germany's competition authority has accused Facebook of abusing its market dominance to "limitlessly amass every kind of data" on people. The Bundeskartellamt informed the American social media giant on Tuesday of its "preliminary legal assessment" that by forcing third-party websites and apps – including WhatsApp, Instagram …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Dec 2017

US senators rail against effort to sneak through creepy mass spying bill

A bipartisan group of US senators have lambasted an effort to force permanent authorization of a controversial warrantless American spying program through Congress by attaching it to an end-of-year spending bill, calling the effort "an end-run around the Constitution." At a press conference Tuesday morning, Senators Ron Wyden …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Dec 2017

Twitter's not dreaming of a white supremacist Xmas: Accounts nuked

Twitter today started imposing rules designed to reduce hateful and abusive content on its service – to the delight of many, and fury of others. Among the accounts suspended within hours of the biz enforcing the new policy – as scheduled – were those belonging to Britain First members as well as its leader and deputy leader, …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Dec 2017

Top Silicon Valley tech judge hits alt-F4 under cloud of sex-pest claims

Top US tech judge Alex Kozinski has resigned, effectively immediately, amid claims of sexual misconduct. Kozinski announced his decision Monday, coming after the news on Friday that the chief judge of the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court, based in San Francisco, California, had ordered a formal inquiry into allegations from more …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Dec 2017
Judge

Top Silicon Valley tech battle judge probed over sex pest claims

A misconduct inquiry has been opened into top US tech judge Alex Kozinski over allegations that he showed female law clerks pornography and repeatedly asked inappropriate sexual questions. The inquiry was announced [PDF] Friday by the chief judge of the Ninth Circuit, Sidney R. Thomas, who noted that a formal complaint had …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Dec 2017

5 reasons why America's Ctrl-Z on net neutrality rules is a GOOD thing

Analysis The FCC voted 3-2 Thursday morning to get rid of net neutrality rules. If you listen to the lame-stream press (or tech press, or lawmakers, or attorneys general, or consumer groups, or celebrities, or tech giants), you will have been told this is a terrible thing. But everyone is wrong – EVERYONE!!!!! They are ALL wrong. And …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Dec 2017

FCC douses America's net neutrality in gas, tosses over a lit match

Despite the clearly stated and serious concerns of a broad cross-section of industry and society, on Thursday morning a mocking, preening excuse of a regulatory chairman tore down US rules that ensured content over the internet was kept free from manipulation by companies that sell access to the global network. As expected, it …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Dec 2017

So what happened with the patent judge and the Euro Patent Office?

Despite having been repeatedly criticized for abusing his position amid the suspension of a patent judge, the president of the European Patent Office (EPO) is seemingly still using the organization's secretive nature to influence the affair. Benoit Battistelli was called out by the International Labour Organization (ILO) last …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Dec 2017

Critical US mass spying program scrutiny lost amid partisan nonsense

Analysis In two weeks, a US law authorizing one of Uncle Sam's crucial mass snooping programs will expire. The man with the power to green-light the surveillance of any individual in the world, as part of said program, appeared in front of the US House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning. Such fortunate timing for some much-needed …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Dec 2017

What network neutrality madness has happened today? Take a big breath

It may have escaped your notice but America's broadband watchdog, the FCC, will vote on Thursday on a provision that would effectively undermine net neutrality protections in the US. People are – and this may shock you – not happy about it. Yesterday, many of the internet's pioneers and early engineers signed a letter slamming …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Dec 2017
Canard Drones inspects airfield lighting with, er, drones. Pic: Breed Reply

America's drone owner database is baaaack! Just in time for Xmas

Fellow Americans: if you receive a drone as a Christmas gift this year, you will probably have to register it with the US federal government. President Trump today signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for 2018 that will reinstate rules created by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2015 that required …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Dec 2017
Canada datacenter

Canuck privacy commissioner to dig into Uber data breach

Canada's privacy commissioner has launched a formal investigation into the massive data breach concealed by the ride-hailing app company Uber. Last month, Uber's new CEO revealed that a year previously the details of 57 million customer and driver accounts had been stolen, but the company had decided not to divulge the breach …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Dec 2017

Berners-Lee, Woz, Cerf: Cancel flawed net neutrality vote

Internet and technology luminaries, including Web creator Tim Berners-Lee, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and "Father of the internet" Vint Cerf, have called on the FCC to cancel its planned net neutrality vote this week, arguing that it is based on a "flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of Internet technology." "We …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Dec 2017

Tired of despairing of Trump and Brexit? Why not despair about YouTube stars instead?

It's a reality of life that some people have a lot of money and some very little. But sometimes that disparity feels less like an unfortunate but ultimately inconsequential side effect of capitalism and more like a tasteless joke inflicted on society by some omnipotent prankster. The existence of YouTube stars and their …

US Section 702 spying rules get deadline extension until April

Proving that nothing is what it seems when it comes to mass surveillance, the hard deadline of December 31 for the controversial section 702 spying program has been moved overnight to April 26. On the eve of a Congressional hearing in which director of the FBI Christopher Wray was pointedly asked about the agency's use of …

Euro Patent Office ignores ruling and refuses entry to vindicated judge

Despite having conclusively won two tribunals and been publicly supported by the International Labour Organization (ILO) demanding his immediate reinstatement, on Thursday patent judge Patrick Corcoran was refused entry to the European Patent Office's (EPO) headquarters. At an extraordinary public meeting in Geneva yesterday, …

Don't rely on us to protect the open internet, warns FTC Commissioner

One of the US government's top regulators has warned that her department is in no position to take on the mantle of protecting the open internet if its sister organization, the FCC, votes on repealing net neutrality regulations later this month. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Commissioner Terrell McSweeny has repeatedly warned …
bribe

Florida Man… pockets Uber cash to keep quiet about data breach

A 20-year-old Florida man who lives with his mom was the "security researcher" that Uber paid off last year not to reveal a massive hack of its systems. In a typically Uber take on network security, the ride-hailing app company paid the man $100,000 in October last year to destroy data he downloaded on 57 million users, …

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