Kieren McCarthy

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FTC names its dirty half-dozen half-assed tech warranty bandits

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has revealed the names of six companies it formally warned over efforts to force consumers to use only their replacement parts. Following a freedom of information request from a number of people – including The Register – the federal consumer watchdog has published the letters [PDF] it sent, …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 May 2018
tombstone

Date engraved onto net neutrality tombstone: June 11, 2018

So we finally have a date: June 11, 2018. That will be the day net neutrality finally dies in the United States following the publication of the full "Restoring Internet Freedom" FCC rules in the Federal Registry on Friday morning. Despite having been formally voted on and approved back in December last year, the order that …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 May 2018
despair

Africa's internet body in full-blown meltdown: 'None of the above' wins board protest vote

A protest vote against corporate mismanagement at Africa's main internet body has sent the organization into freefall. Following the poor handling of a sexual harassment scandal that eventually led to the resignation of its chair and vice-chair, members of Afrinic asked for a vote of no-confidence in the organization's entire …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 May 2018
Bike crash photo via Shutterstock

Mobileye's autonomous cars are heading to California. But they're not going to kill anyone. At least not on purpose

Analysis It's hard to know at what point in Amnon Shashua's presentation on autonomous cars that I started fearing for my life. But it began in earnest when others started asking questions and he started answering them. As CEO of Mobileye, Shashua has been on the forefront on self-driving car technology for some time. He started the …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 May 2018

So when can you get in the first self-driving car? GM says 2019. Mobileye says 2021. Waymo says 2018 – yes, this year

After several years of hype about autonomous vehicles – cars that can truly independently drive themselves – the big question has become: when will people other than beta testers get in them? And the answer, according to General Motors' chief technology officer Jon Lauckner is, incredibly, next year: 2019. That's when the …
A man jumping off a cliff

Intel CEO Brian is a man living on the edge

Comment Intel declined to comment on industry whisperings that Qualcomm is mulling ending its Arm-powered server processor efforts. Perhaps it's no wonder: Intel has a monopoly on the compute workhorses used in data centers by Google and Amazon, among others, to provide their increasingly ubiquitous cloud computing services, as well …
defibrillator

Intel to preserve Moore's Law with startup land's fresh young blood

Moore's Law ain't dead yet, but Intel needs startups to keep it alive. For several years, observers have noted that straight line predicting the doubling of transistors per chip has slowly bent downwards. It hasn’t helped that Intel itself found it hard to shift from 14nm to 10nm production – recently announcing that it will …
scandal

Africa's internet body hit with sexual harassment cover-up claims

Special report The body responsible for allocating internet network addresses across Africa has been enveloped in yet another scandal, resulting in calls for the entire board to step down. Afrinic is one of the world's five regional internet registries (RIRs) and plays a critical role in the internet's global infrastructure. But this week …
scream

FCC shifts its $8bn pot of gold, sparks fears of corporate money grab

Special report This week, one year after the US government's General Accountability Office (GAO) formally recommended that it do so, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moved $8bn it held in a private bank to the US Treasury. But even though the move has long been planned for and anticipated, it has caused a furious reaction from the …
A finger pressing a delete key

Nvidia quickly kills its AMD-screwing GeForce 'partner program' amid monopoly probe threat

Nvidia has cancelled a partner program after just two months – just as regulators started taking an interest in complaints of anti-competitiveness. In a blog post on Friday, the head of marketing for Nv's GeForce gaming brand complained about the "rumors, conjecture and mistruths" that have surrounded the "GeForce Partner …
listening

It's World (Terrible) Password (Advice) Day!

It's World Password Day! And you know what that means: all the effort you've put into trying to persuade people to rethink how they do passwords turns to mush because some company sees a PR opportunity and floods social media with terrible advice. This year's award for Terrible Password Advice goes to the wireless industry's …
revolving door

FTC Commissioner refuses to budge until Trump fulfills promises

In a further sign that punching your way out of a paper bag is much harder than people assume, America's consumer rights watchdog the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has ended up with one commissioner too many. Christine Wilson was unanimously confirmed by the Senate last week as one of five new FTC commissioners, but there is …
atari

Exclusive to all press: Atari launches world's best ever games console

You've played the PlayStation, you've crossed paths with the Xbox but now prepare yourselves for the world's greatest ever games console! That's right, Atari is back – and boy, er, person are they back – the legendary games company has spent a year perfecting the rebirth of its classic machine and they are ready to unveil the …
Man looks suspiciously over his shoulder while working on laptop. Photo via Shutterstock

New York looks at California, drafts net neutrality legislation

New York has introduced net neutrality legislation copied directly from California in an effort to bypass a federal effort to kill America's net neutrality. On Wednesday, leading Democratic New York senator Brad Hoylman hailed a "bicoastal effort" between the two states, and in particular San Francisco senator Scott Wiener, to …
man worries as earthquake shakes shelf

Ahem! Uber, Lyft etc: California Supremes just shook your gig economy with contractor ruling

The business models of Uber, Lyft, Instacart, TaskRabbit, GrubHub and numerous other "gig economy" companies may need an overhaul following a decision by the California Supreme Court to redefine when someone is a contractor or an employee. In a decision this week that went against delivery company Dynamex Operations West, the …
Beefeater

UK Parliament roars: Oi! Zuck! Get in here for a grilling – or you'll get a Tower of London tour

UK lawmakers have threatened to have Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg dragged kicking and screaming to Parliament if he doesn't attend a hearing about the social media giant's dodgy practices in the next month. In a letter [PDF] sent on Tuesday to the head of public policy for Facebook's UK office, Rebecca Stimson, the head of a …
Ted Frank

Let's be Frank: Bloke drags Google to the US Supreme Court over $8.5m privacy payout

Interview Ted Frank has hit the equivalent of a legal jackpot: a hearing in front of the US Supreme Court. "Certiorari granted: 17-961 Frank, Theodore H., et al. V. Gaos, Paloma, et al," reads the order list [PDF] for April 30, 2018 – one of only three cases whose petitions were granted; 138 others were denied. The chance to argue a …
Random numbers

Democrats need just one more senator (and then a miracle) to reverse US net neutrality death

Democrats in the US Senate are pushing for a measure that would, if passed, kill off efforts by America's communications watchdog, the FCC, to scrap the nation's net neutrality protections. With time rapidly running out, the lawmakers have decided not to delay their effort to get more Republicans to join their group, and …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Apr 2018

Supreme Court to dig into Google's very cosy $8.5m deal with lawyers over web search leak

A dodgy deal cooked up between Google and the lawyers that successfully sued it for violating user privacy is heading to the US Supreme Court. On Monday, America's top court agreed [PDF] to hear just three cases out of more than 100 applications – and one of them covers a $8.5m payout from Google for revealing users' search …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Apr 2018

That Brexit in action: UK signs pact to let Euro court judge its patents

Britain has finally signed up to Europe's unified patent court (UPC) – a long-planned simplification of the continent's patent system – but big questions still remain thanks to Brexit and a federal court challenge in Germany. "The Minister for Intellectual Property, Sam Gyimah MP, has today confirmed that the UK has ratified …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Apr 2018
tired businessman

Europe fires back at ICANN's delusional plan to overhaul Whois for GDPR by next, er, year

Special report On March 26 – two months before new privacy protections come into effect in Europe – Goran Marby, CEO of DNS overlord ICANN, sent a letter [PDF] to each of Europe's 28 data protection authorities (DPAs) asking them to hold off punishing it over Whois. Whois is a set of databases of domain-name owners, overseen by ICANN, and it …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Apr 2018
missed

America's states try to restart net neutrality – with very mixed results

Efforts to impose net neutrality protections before federal rules are repealed are taking place across the US, but are currently very hit-and-miss as the big ISPs swing lobbying dollars against them. Earlier this week, an effort by the Colorado state legislature to introduce restrictions on what broadband providers are allowed …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Apr 2018

ISO blocks NSA's latest IoT encryption systems amid murky tales of backdoors and bullying

Two new encryption algorithms developed by the NSA have been rejected by an international standards body amid accusations of threatening behavior. The "Simon" and "Speck" cryptographic tools were designed for secure data to and from the next generation of internet-of-things gizmos and sensors, and were intended to become a …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Apr 2018
A businessman begging

ICANN takes Whois begging bowl to Europe, comes back empty

ICANN has been told for a second time that it must fundamentally change its Whois service to become compliant with Europe's incoming privacy law – and do so within the next month. At a meeting in Brussels this week with the European Union's data protection authorities (DPAs), the US-based DNS overseer had hoped to persuade …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Apr 2018

Yahoo! fined! $35m! for! covering! up! massive! IT! security! screwup!

The Disaster Formerly Known as Yahoo! has been fined $35m by US financial watchdog, the SEC, for failing to tell anyone about one of the world's largest ever computer security breaches. Now known as Altaba following its long, slow and painful descent in irrelevance, Yahoo! knew that its entire user database – including …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Apr 2018

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