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Rebecca Hill

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A group of Playmobil pirates

Drama brews on high seas as Playmobil ship running out of steam

A Playmobile pirate ships's journey to the Caribbean sea risks being scuppered as its supplies run low. The vessel, named Adventure by two Scottish brothers – Ollie Ferguson, 8, and Harry, 5 – and their family, set sail from the west coast of Africa last year. It was edging closer to Guyana when the brothers' dad, MacNeill …
Rebecca Hill, 20 Apr 2018
NHS hosptial photo, by Marbury via Shutterstock

Creaky NHS digital infrastructure risks holding back gene boffinry, say MPs

The state of the NHS's digital infrastructure and a lack of clear budgets risk holding back the UK’s efforts in genomic medicine and research, MPs have said. In a report, Genomics and Genome Editing in the NHS, The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee criticised a lack of investment in the kit, training and public …
Rebecca Hill, 20 Apr 2018
A bouncer. Pic: Shutterstock

Government demands for people's personal info from Microsoft reach all-time low

Government requests for people's data from Microsoft fell to the all-time low of 23,000 in the last half of 2017, as Redmond's rate of rejecting the requests rose to a high of 17 per cent. The software behemoth has published transparency data on requests from global law enforcement agencies, US national security orders and …
Rebecca Hill, 20 Apr 2018
Close up of elephant family, including cute calf. Photo by Shutterstock

Evolving elephants: Hortonworks trumpets its '3.0 vision' of global data management

Hortonworks – once known simply as a Hadoop-flinger – is these days pushing itself as a modern data architecture company. At its annual gabfest, this year held in Berlin, the message was that the biz had reached its 3.0 phase – but that's an evolution, not a reboot, said CTO Scott Gnau. "3.0 isn't like a pivot," he told The …
Rebecca Hill, 19 Apr 2018
(An allegedly) Bad dog's police mug shot...

Cutting custody snaps too costly for cash-strapped cops – UK.gov

The UK government has admitted it can only delete custody images from its massive database through a complex manual process, and that it would cost too much to weed out all the images of innocent people by hand. The custody image database now holds around 21 million shots of faces and identifying features like scars or tattoos …
Rebecca Hill, 19 Apr 2018

Hortonworks unfurls tool to cut grunt work, let firms spend more time rolling in juicy data

Data management biz Hortonworks has lifted the covers off a service that aims to make it easier for enterprises to identify, secure and connect data stored both on-premises and in the cloud. Data Steward Studio, announced at Hortonworks' DataWorks Summit in Berlin, taps into a growing desire among businesses for more …
Rebecca Hill, 18 Apr 2018
Pentagon - building - houses the US dept of defense in Arlington Virginia

Pentagon sticks to its guns: Yep, we're going with a single cloud services provider

The US Department of Defense (DoD) still intends to choose just one vendor for its multibillion-dollar cloud contract – amid complaints from Oracle's co-CEO that such a plan "makes no sense". The Pentagon made waves last month when it published a draft proposal document calling for just one cloud services provider to run the …
Rebecca Hill, 17 Apr 2018
NHS hosptial photo, by Marbury via Shutterstock

NHS Digital execs showed 'little regard' for patient ethics by signing data deal

MPs have voiced “serious concerns” about NHS Digital’s leadership, claiming execs paid “little regard” to the ethics of sharing patient details for immigration enforcement, and are too close to government. Members of the House of Commons Health Committee slammed the body – which provides IT and data services for the UK's …
Rebecca Hill, 16 Apr 2018

Facebook scandal: EU politicians should aim for straight answers, not star witnesses

Comment Politicians on this side of the Pond need to stop obsessing about getting Mark Zuckerberg in front of them, and start preparing to grill his subordinates. In the aftermath of the revelations about Facebook data being sold to political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, lawmakers have been queuing up to demand the CEO sits in …
Rebecca Hill, 13 Apr 2018
Max Schrems

Schrems' Facebook case edges closer to ruling over EU-US data flows

Max Schrems’ battle to turn off Facebook’s trans-Atlantic data flows has crawled one step closer, as the Irish High Court today issued the EU's top court with a set of questions to rule on. The privacy activist’s multi-year slog began when he brought a complaint against Facebook's mass data slurping, in light of Edward Snowden …
Rebecca Hill, 12 Apr 2018
Tape over mouth, image via Shutterstock

'Dear Mr F*ckingjoking': UK PM Theresa May's mass marketing missive misses mark

Britain's ruling Conservative Party was today forced to apologise to an elderly couple that received a letter, signed from the PM, addressed to a Mr Youmustbe F*ckingjoking. The letter was posted on Twitter this week by Laura McCormack, who said it had been passed to her by her neighbours. Trying to argue they can run the …
Rebecca Hill, 12 Apr 2018
Cartoon man with hat and tie. Facial features replaced by question mark.

Cambridge Analytica rips and replaces acting CEO

The political analytics biz desperately attempting to weather the year’s biggest data harvesting scandal has had to ditch its second exec in less than a month. Cambridge Analytica announced late yesterday that its acting CEO Alexander Tayler - who has been in post since 21 March - was stepping down. Tayler took over after Old …
Rebecca Hill, 12 Apr 2018
Zuckerberg

Mark Duckerberg: Second Congressional grilling sees boss dodge questions like a pro

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg used today’s grilling in Congress to point the finger at dodgy app developers and Cambridge academics – but appeared to expose huge holes in his knowledge of the way his own business works. Making his second appearance in front of US lawmakers this week – appearing before the House of Reps' Energy …
Rebecca Hill, 11 Apr 2018
DNA circuit board

Boffins score gene bonanza: EU countries pledge to share one million genomes by 2022

Thirteen European countries have agreed to link up genomic databases in a bid to give boffins access to a research cohort of more than one million genomes by 2022. The declaration commits the signatories - including the UK, Finland, Estonia and Spain - to work together to ensure secure cross-border access to genomic and other …
Rebecca Hill, 11 Apr 2018

C'mon, Zuck... don't make us feel second class. Come talk to us in Europe – EU politicos

Mark Zuckerberg has been warned not to treat European Facebook users as "second class" as pressure mounts on the CEO to face the music from politicos on the other side of the Pond. As execs from the social media business are lining up meeting after meeting with EU politicians, one name was notably absent from the attendee list …
Rebecca Hill, 11 Apr 2018
FACEPALM

Facebook admits: Apps were given users' permission to go into their inboxes

Facebook has admitted that some apps had access to users’ private messages, thanks to a policy that allowed devs to request mailbox permissions. The revelation came as current Facebook users found out whether they or their friends had used the "This Is Your Digital Life" app that allowed academic Aleksandr Kogan to collect …
Rebecca Hill, 11 Apr 2018
Trying to catch money in a net

Facebook: Look at our latest bug bounty that proves we're serious!

Continuing its charm offensive, Facebook has published the details of its data abuse bounty, ahead of Mark Zuckerberg’s appearances in front of US lawmakers. The programme - which offers a minimum of $500 (and no maximum) for cases that prove to be true - will reward people who can prove an app has slurped up users’ data for …
Rebecca Hill, 10 Apr 2018
Man confused by laptop

Are you SAP-py now?! ERP giant overhauls pricing model following indirect access drama

SAP has changed its pricing model following mass confusion among customers and fears of litigation over indirect access. As part of the overhaul, the German ERP giant today promised users greater transparency – as well as pledging a "clear separation" between licence sales and audit departments – in a bid to convince customers …
Rebecca Hill, 10 Apr 2018

Nope, you're still a transport biz, top EU court tells Uber

Updated The EU’s top court has ruled against Uber in France, in a judgement that allows it and other member states to ban illegal taxi services like UberPop more easily. The ruling (PDF), issued by the Court of Justice of the European Union this morning, will increase pressure on the not-a-taxi biz, and follows a decision that saw its …
Rebecca Hill, 10 Apr 2018
schoolchildren celebrate - throw papers in the air

UK.gov expected to quit controversial harvesting of schoolchildren's nationality data

Campaigners have welcomed reports that the UK government is planning to cease monitoring pupils' nationality in its mass school data slurp. The school census, a statutory survey that takes place three times a year, collects a range of information about students, including country of origin and nationality. Civil rights and …
Rebecca Hill, 10 Apr 2018
Thumb down to Facebook

Facebook offers to crack open data for eggheads to find out how badly it's screwed democracy

Facebook has announced an initiative it says will help academics investigate the effect of social media on society without overstepping the privacy line. Broadly, the plan is to set up a commission of independent, "respected academic experts" who will develop a research agenda to assess how social media impacts democracy, and …
Rebecca Hill, 9 Apr 2018
politician dabs away sweat at podium

Lib Dems, UKIP's websites go TITSUP* on UK local election launch day

Updated Several political websites using the NationBuilder platform have been down for almost 24 hours – perfect timing for the launch of the UK’s local election campaign. The biz, whose marketing bumpf promises “software for leaders”, is used by a range of political parties, including the Liberal Democrats in the UK and Labour in New …
Rebecca Hill, 9 Apr 2018

£12k fine slapped on Postman Pat and his 300,000 spam emails

Royal Mail, which claims to be the most trusted letter delivery service in the UK, was today fined for sending out more than 300,000 nuisance emails. The Information Commissioner's Office said it launched a probe after an individual complained they had received a marketing email from Royal Mail, despite having opted out. …
Rebecca Hill, 6 Apr 2018
Twitter flock

Twitter whacks 270,000 terror accounts, majority flagged by internal tools

Twitter removed more than 270,000 accounts for terrorism-related violations in the last six months of 2017 – and most of these were detected by internal tools. According to the anger platform's latest transparency report, which covers 1 July to 31 December 2017, this takes the total removed to date to 1.2 million. In the most …
Rebecca Hill, 6 Apr 2018
4chan-derived rage memery

'Extreme, unnecessary, overheated': US judge slams Oracle salvo in HPE Solaris squabble

A US judge has slammed Oracle for using "extreme, unnecessary, overheated rhetoric" in its latest submission in an ongoing court battle with HPE. Elizabeth Laporte, US magistrate judge in the court of the Northern District of California, this week issued an order (PDF) admonishing Big Red for its "tit for tat" retaliation in …
Rebecca Hill, 6 Apr 2018

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