Kieren McCarthy

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Facebook, Google, Twitter are the shady bouncers of the web. They should be fired

Analysis Social media giants Twitter and Facebook remain at the end of severe criticism from US Congress and elsewhere as investigations into Russia's interference in America's presidential elections highlight the depth to which the tech giants' platforms continue to be abused. On Wednesday, both companies said they had agreed to send …
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Web uni says it will get you a tech job or your money back. So our man Kieren signed up...

Special report An online college focused on the tech industry is promising to find you a job in six months or it will refund your course fees in full. OpenClassrooms has also marked its launch in the United States today by offering to supply its basic courses for free to anyone caught up in the decision by the Trump administration to shut …

Roku tweaks Apple's nose with telly-friendly vid-streaming boxes

Roku today responded to Apple with a new range of streaming boxes and an updated operating system that tightly integrates broadcast TV. The company is still leading the streaming media box market, in large part because it is simply better and offers more than its main competitors in AppleTV, Amazon's Fire TV, and Google's …

Smart burglar alarms: Look who just tossed their hat into the ring ... It's, er, Ring

The smart home battleground has moved to security systems, with smart doorbell biz Ring announcing this week a new product just days before Nest dove into the same market. The Ring Protect is very similar to Nest's Secure system launched last month in that it aims to be a simpler, friendlier version of traditional beige boxes …

Cost of Africa's internet shutdowns? $1m a day – quarter of a billion total

A new report estimates the cost to African countries routinely pulling the plug on their citizens' internet access is around $1m a day. In the past two years, 12 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have imposed a range of internet shutdowns from full national blackouts of connectivity, to regional takedowns, to social media …

Tarmac for America's self-driving car future is being laid right now

A law proposed in the US Senate would pave the way for hundreds of thousands of autonomous vehicles on America's streets in the next few years. The AV START Act [PDF] was introduced Thursday by Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Gary Peters (D-MI), and not only represents a bipartisan effort but also reflects much of the contents …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Sep 2017

FCC big cheese given Congressional roasting in reconfirmation bid

For a man who repeatedly criticized his predecessor at the Federal Communications Commission for dragging the US watchdog in a bi-partisan direction, in his eight months as FCC chairman Ajit Pai has done more than anyone to infect it with Washington politics. That unpleasant reality was drawn out in a Congressional hearing on …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Sep 2017

Internet-wide security update put on hold over fears 60 million people would be kicked offline

A multi-year effort to update the internet's overall security has been put on hold just days before it was due to be introduced, over fears that as many as 60 million people could be forced offline. DNS overseer ICANN announced on Thursday it had postponed the rollout of a new root zone "key signing key" (KSK) used to secure …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Sep 2017

At last, someone's taking Apple to task for, uh, not turning on iPhone FM radio chips

Updated FCC boss Ajit Pai has publicly criticized Apple for not turning on the FM radio receivers in every iPhone – calling it a public safety issue. "In recent years, I have repeatedly called on the wireless industry to activate the FM chips that are already installed in almost all smartphones sold in the United States," the US comms …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Sep 2017

FCC commish cites infamous porn ruling to slam shady US mobile competition report

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel made her presence felt at her first meeting in a year at the US communications regulator on Wednesday – when she cited an infamous Supreme Court decision over pornography to slam a report claiming there was sufficient competition in the American mobile market. "For the first time since 2009 …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Sep 2017

Dot-Amazon spat latest: Brazil tells ICANN to go fsck itself, only 'govts control the internet'

Analysis In an effort to block Amazon from getting the top-level domain .amazon, Brazil may have put governments on a crash course with the private sector over control of the web. In an aggressive and contradictory letter [PDF] on Wednesday to the overseer of the internet's domain name system, ICANN, Brazilian technology minister …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Sep 2017

¡Dios mío! Spain blocks DNS to hush Catalonian independence vote sites

As a controversial referendum on the independence of Catalonia draws near, the Spanish government has expanded efforts to shut it down, even blocking access to some websites. After a number of .cat websites covering the referendum were aggressively shut down by the authorities, pro-independence groups set up new websites at …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Sep 2017

Mom, mom! Make China stopppp! US govt gripes about Beijing's internet censorship to WTO

The United States government is attempting to limit extraordinary online censorship efforts by China, complaining to the World Trade Organization that such measures will damage global trade. The Chinese government passed a new cyber security law in November 2016 that took effect this June, which the authorities have been …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Sep 2017

CBS's Showtime caught mining crypto-coins in viewers' web browsers

The websites of US telly giant CBS's Showtime contained JavaScript that secretly commandeered viewers' web browsers over the weekend to mine cryptocurrency. The flagship Showtime.com and its instant-access ShowtimeAnytime.com sibling silently pulled in code that caused browsers to blow spare processor time calculating new …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Sep 2017

Limp Weiner to get 21 months in the hole

Disgraced American politician Anthony Weiner has been sentenced to 21 months behind bars – and three years of probation – for sexting an underage girl. The former Congressman broke down as he was sentenced in a Manhattan court on Monday for sending penis pics to an unnamed 15-year-old girl and convincing her to undress and …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Sep 2017

Want to keep in contact with friends and family without having to sell your personal data?

Review It's become a phrase repeated so frequently, it almost feels like a cliché: if you're not paying for the product, you are the product. The truth is that hundreds of millions of us put up with the unpleasant fact that chunks of our personal lives – our photos and emails and whereabouts and contacts – are combined and packaged …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Sep 2017

Spanish govt slammed over bizarre Catalan .cat internet registry cop raid

The Spanish government has come under increasing criticism for raiding the offices of the .cat internet registry in the lead-up to a referendum on Catalans' independence. On Wednesday morning, police entered the registry's headquarters in Barcelona and seized all of its computers. The cops also arrested six members of staff, …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Sep 2017
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First big Privacy Shield review has ended – and yep, it's great! Just don't ask about mass spying

The much-heralded first review of the EU‑US Privacy Shield Framework that governs the flow of personal information across the Atlantic has concluded – and would you believe it? Representatives of the EU and US think it's doing fine. The two-day review is an annual requirement written into the new framework after the previous …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Sep 2017

Facebook, Twitter sucked into US Senate's Russian meddling probe

They may still view themselves as open purveyors of free speech, but increasingly social media giants are being pulled into the US Senate's investigation of Russian interference in the American presidential elections. This week Twitter confirmed that it is going to meet the Senate's intelligence committee that is heading up …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Sep 2017

Hi Facebook, Google, we think we might tax your ads instead – lots of love, Europe x

More details have emerged on the various plans being considered by European governments to force internet giants like Facebook, Google and Amazon to pay more in taxes, including a levy on internet ads and even withholding money for online transactions. Following a letter earlier this month from the finance ministers of Europe' …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Sep 2017

You've been baffled by its smart thermostat. Now strap in for Nest's IoT doorbell, alarm gear

First fondle Nest unveiled a new outdoor camera, doorbell and security system this morning in San Francisco. We were at the launch event and afterwards wandered over to a demo area, where we got to try them out first hand and flood willing Nest employees with questions. Here's what we learned. The doorbell needs a wired connection This …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Sep 2017

Say Hello to my little friend: Nest blasts IoT world with doorbell, home security gear

Smart home poster child Nest on Wednesday launched two new products: a video doorbell and a security system. The hardware maker hopes the Hello (doorbell) and the Secure (security system) will put to rest criticism of the biz that it only produces iterations of its smart thermostat and camera. The bigger goal, however, is …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Sep 2017

Congress battles Silicon Valley over upcoming US sex trafficking law

The first Congressional hearing into a proposed law that would make American companies liable for online sex trafficking has lain bare the depths of the disagreement between lawmakers and tech giants. The US Senate's commerce committee met Tuesday morning to hear from advocates and critics of the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Sep 2017

Itching to stuff iOS 11 on your iPhone? You may want to hold off for a bit

Apple's latest iOS version is out today – iOS 11 – but before you rush into updating, you'll want to check that it doesn't destroy any of your favorite apps. This version will insist on running only 64-bit apps and will kill support for 32-bit apps. That means several things: for one, if you have anything earlier than an …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Sep 2017

Pirate Bay digs itself a new hole: Mining alt-coin in slurper browsers

Bittorrent search engine and mortal enemy of intellectual property lawyers, The Pirate Bay, has upset the one group of people that actually likes it: its users. Over the weekend, visitors to the infamous file-sharing watering hole were surprised to find their browsers working overtime, with their computers' CPU usage rocketing …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Sep 2017

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