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Thomas Claburn

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Anonymized location-tracking data proves anything but: Apps squeal on you like crazy

Anonymized location data won't necessarily preserve your anonymity. M. Keith Chen, associate professor of economics at UCLA's Anderson School of Management, and Ryne Rohla, a doctoral student at Washington State University, accomplished this minor miracle of data science by assuming that the GPS coordinates transmitted by …
Thomas Claburn, 17 Nov 2017

US govt to use software to finger immigrants as potential crims? That's really dumb – boffins

A group of 54 computer scientists and academic researchers on Thursday asked the US Department of Homeland Security to rethink its plan for employing software algorithms to determine whether immigrants to the country should be admitted or deported. To implement various White House executive orders to limit immigration through …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Nov 2017
code on-screen

Microsoft touts real-time over-the-network pair programming in Visual Studio, GitHub ships it

Microsoft and GitHub on Wednesday announced real-time collaboration in their respective code editors, almost as if they'd been collaborating. Microsoft offered a placeholder rather than a product. Said program tools director Amanda Silver: "We’re working on 'Visual Studio Live Share,' which enables developers using Visual …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Nov 2017
The Internet Archive in San Francisco

Inside Internet Archive: 10PB+ of storage in a church... oh, and a little fight to preserve truth

At the Internet Archive's headquarters in San Francisco, California, on Wednesday, technologists, educators, archivists, and others fact-oriented folks gathered to discuss how they and the like-minded can save news from the memory hole – a conceit conjured by George Orwell to describe a political mechanism for altering the truth …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Nov 2017
A confused man

Now Oracle stiffs its own sales reps to pocket their overtime, allegedly

Oracle was sued on Tuesday by a former sales rep for allegedly failing to pay overtime wages, in violation of America's federal Fair Labor Standards Act and Texas state law. The civil lawsuit, filed on behalf of plaintiff Daniel Wilson in district court in Austin, Texas, claims Oracle has been directing its sales staff – …
Thomas Claburn, 15 Nov 2017
Trying to catch money in a net

Twitter: Finally, there's an affordable way to pay us actual money

Hoping to extinguish its eleven-year cash bonfire and finally turn a profit, Twitter has introduced premium APIs to allow businesses to make better use of its trove of troll tweets – for a fee. The hoi polloi seldom pay for anything online but developers, in particular those working for big biz, can be convinced to ante up in …
Thomas Claburn, 14 Nov 2017
Uber safety marketing

Uber sued over alleged rapes as #MeToo web rally reveals more sex assault claims

Two unnamed women allegedly raped by Uber drivers sued the transit app biz today for sexual assault and unlawful business practices. The complaint, filed in a US district court in San Francisco, California, today seeks damages, stricter screening for drivers, insurance coverage for riders, and disclosure of the number of …
Thomas Claburn, 14 Nov 2017
red_hat_648

Red Hat opens its ARMs to Enterprise Linux... er, wait, perhaps it's the other way round

Red Hat Enterprise Linux for ARM reached general availability Monday, underscoring the growing competition confronted by Intel's x86-64 platform in the data center. The corporate Linux vendor first presented a preview of Linux for ARM in 2015, although the software has been in the works for a number of years. Since that …
Thomas Claburn, 14 Nov 2017
Illustration of a small person seated by giant feet

You, Google. Get in here and explain all this personal data slurping – Missouri AG subpoena

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley on Monday said his office is investigating Google's business practices, adding fuel to the long smouldering antitrust fire that the Chocolate factory has been unable to extinguish. The ad biz has been trying to smother the flames for almost a decade now, fanned at first by Microsoft's …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Nov 2017
shutterstock_306575414_woman_programmer

Silverlight extinguished while Angular wins fans among developers

Developers are done with Microsoft's Silverlight and Apache Flex, but they've been entranced by Android Studio, the Swift programming language, and Angular, a JavaScript framework. Coding community site Stack Overflow on Monday plans to publish details about which technologies have seen the greatest surge and the most …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Nov 2017
Two execs in a server room. Has to have happened some time heh. Photo by Shutterstock

You wanted robo-butlers. Instead, you're getting robo-BOFHs

Interview Park Place Technologies for the past two years has been working with IT services biz BMC to develop a way to augment its data center service business with machine learning. Chris Adams, chief operating officer of the data center hardware-tending shop, based in Cleveland, Ohio, told The Register in a phone interview the way …
Thomas Claburn, 10 Nov 2017

Boffins: We can identify you by your typing, and we're gonna sell the tech to biz, govt – yay!

Concerned that browser cookies fall short when it comes to tracking mobile devices and their owners on the internet, computer-science boffins believe they can recognize phone-toters using only their keystrokes and accelerometer data. In a paper presented this week through ArXiv, "Sequential Keystroke Behavioral Biometrics for …
Coffee beans, image via Shutterstock

Squeezing in little Quake between builds? Not any more: Facebook Bucks up Java compile tool

Citing the social network's need for speed, Facebook senior software engineer Jonathan Keljo says the company's developer tools group has revisited how its Buck open-source build tool compiles Java code and made it faster still. As such a new version of the software was released today for programmers to fetch and play with: it …

Bitcoin drops SegWit2x hard fork after community objects

Bitcoin's contentious upgrade plan, known as SegWit2x, has been called off, sending the cryptocurrency price past $7,800 – an all-time high – and then down several hundred dollars as profit taking set it. Mike Belshe, CEO of Bitgo, a Silicon Valley blockchain security biz, announced the decision via a post to the Bitcoin- …
defunct US embassy account page revived by researcher

We're not saying Uncle Sam has lost control on Twitter, but US Embassy in Riyadh just did a shout out for oatmeal

History is "a series of lies agreed upon," as nineteenth century orator Wendell Phillips phrased an adage employed by Napoleon, among others. Online history doesn't even require agreement. It can be changed with a click. Justin Littman, a software developer and librarian in the ‎Scholarly Technology Group at George Washington …
Linux penguin canape... snacks. Photo by SHutterstock

Don't worry about those 40 Linux USB security holes. That's not a typo

The Linux kernel USB subsystem has more holes than a donut shop. On Monday, Google security researcher Andrey Konovalov disclosed 14 Linux USB flaws found using syzkaller, a kernel fuzzing tool developed by another Google software engineer, Dmitry Vyukov. That's just the tip of the iceberg. In an email to The Register, …
robot

More expensive, takes longer than usual, not particularly brilliant. Yes, it's your robot surgeon

Robot-assisted surgery costs more time and money than traditional methods, but isn't more effective, for certain types of operations. Laparoscopic surgery, which involves one or more small incisions suited to a laparoscope rather than large cut, tends to preferable when it's an option because it's minimally invasive. For …
OpenOffice and LibreOffice share a common ancestry

Apache OpenOffice: We're OK with not being super cool... PS: Watch out for that Mac bug

Interview Apache OpenOffice 4.1.4 finally shipped on October 19, five months later than intended, but the software is still a bit buggy. The resource-starved open-source project had been looking to release the update around Apache Con in mid-May, but missed the target, not altogether surprising given persistent concerns about a lack of …

Official US govt Twitter accounts caught tweeting in Russian, now mysteriously axed

The US Digital Registry – an authoritative list of government Twitter accounts – reveals that almost 30 have been suspended, several after tweeting in, er, Russian. Justin Littman, a software developer and librarian in the ‎Scholarly Technology Group at George Washington University's Gelman Library, identified the accounts in …
A man in handcuffs

'Lambda and serverless is one of the worst forms of proprietary lock-in we've ever seen in the history of humanity'

Interview Toward the end of this month, CoreOS CEO Alex Polvi expects Amazon will introduce a managed Kubernetes service at its AWS re:Invent event. If so – CoreOS CTO Brandon Philips cites some Kubernetes bug reports from Amazon as evidence – it will be an admission of what most people focused on software containers already know: that …

Donald, YOU'RE FIRED: Rogue Twitter worker quits, deletes President Trump's account

Updated For a few minutes on Thursday afternoon, Pacific Time, the Twitter account of US President Donald J. Trump ceased to exist – sensationally deleted by a Twitter worker on their last day of work, we're told. The absence of such a distinctive, dare we say divisive, social media voice was immediately noticed, and welcomed by some …

Qualcomm sues Apple for allegedly blabbing smartphone chip secrets in emails CC'd to Intel

In its 10-K financial filing on Monday, a day before Apple's fiscal Q4 earnings, chipmaker Qualcomm revealed it has sued Apple yet again, this time for breach of contract. The lawsuit, filed in a state court in San Diego, California, claims Apple flouted its contractual secrecy obligation by sharing confidential info instead …

Oh, Google. You really are spoiling us: Docs block cockup chalks up yet another apology

Eager to avoid the perception that it has been leafing through netizens' files – a fear it has contended with at least since it began scanning Gmail messages to inform its ad biz – Google on Thursday issued a second statement to explain why it erroneously flagged files for a small percentage of Docs and Drive users as violating …
processor chip-off

Funnily enough, when Qualcomm's licensees stop sending in their royalty checks, profits start going south

Qualcomm beat Wall Street's expectations on Wednesday, reporting $5.9bn in revenues for its fiscal Q4, down five per cent year-on-year, and $22.4bn for the full year, also down five per cent. The chip designer's diluted earnings per share came to $0.92 for the quarter, higher than the $0.81 analysts had anticipated, according …
Google Drive ToS violation image

Google Drive ate our homework! Doc block blamed on code blunder

An indeterminate but supposedly small number of Google Docs users on Tuesday found that their essays, reports, school assignments, tracts, and manifestos had run afoul of Google's terms of service and had been made inaccessible. Some users reported being unable to share their documents; others said their documents could not be …
Thomas Claburn, 31 Oct 2017

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