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Articles about California

California blue whale numbers soar to historical levels, say boffins

Scientists say the California blue whale population has rebounded to near historical levels, chalking up a win for conservation. The big bellowing beasts of the ocean, which weigh in as adults at 190 tons and measure nearly 100 feet long, have done a decent job of recovering from whaling, according to a scientific study …
Kelly Fiveash, 07 Sep 2014
Dogecoin

Bitcoin was illegal in California? Whoops, governor fixes that 165-year-old money law

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed off on a law legitimizing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for use in the state. The governor rubber-stamped AB 129, enacting what legislators say is a much-needed overhaul of the state codes on currencies. Under the new law, digital currencies and community currencies are protected …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Jul 2014

Anti-theft mobe KILL SWITCH edges closer to reality in California

The Golden State is one step closer to passing a law which would require mobile phone vendors to implement remote bricking capabilities in all handsets. The California Senate has approved SB 962, the bill which mandates a "kill switch" mechanism in phones which could render stolen handsets useless and hopefully deter thieves. …
Shaun Nichols, 09 May 2014
gavel_judgment_channel

California takes a shot at mobile 'killswitch' mandate

Lawmakers in California have introduced a bill that would force vendors to equip all mobile phones and tablets in the state with a remote-wipe tool. Senate Bill 962 would mandate that all handsets and tablets sold in California be pre-equipped with a "killswitch" option that would allow an owner or law enforcement to render a …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Feb 2014
Timothy C. Draper

VC who wants to split California REVEALED as Silk Road Bitcoin slurper

Venture capitalist Tim Draper has revealed that he is the investor who snapped up nearly 30,000 Bitcoins seized from shut-down online drugs market Silk Road, having outbid all comers in an auction held by the US Marshals Service last week. The 29,656.51306529 Bitcoins nabbed from Silk Road's digital wallets were auctioned off as …
Neil McAllister, 02 Jul 2014

California gives green light to test self-driving cars on public roads

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has approved new rules governing the testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads, making it one of the first states to adopt a formal policy on self-driving cars. California Governor Jerry Brown gave the state's blessing to autonomous vehicles in 2012, when he signed off on …
Neil McAllister, 21 May 2014

Proposed California law demands anti-theft 'kill switch' in all smartphones

California may soon become the first US state to require mobile phone makers to include a feature that can remotely disable their handsets in the event they are stolen. A new law proposed by California state Senator Mark Leno and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón would require all smartphones sold in the state to …
Neil McAllister, 19 Dec 2013
California Games

Wetsuits, sunshine, bikini babes and a competitive streak: Epyx California Games

California Games from Epyx cooked up a successful franchise with its winning combination of sunshine, grazed shins, wetsuits and bikini babes. Indeed, its well-considered play mechanics, delivered with multiplayer action and some slightly twisted humour, soon cemented its cult classic status in history. Video from 2004 looking …
Giles Hill, 14 Aug 2014
sponge

KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline

The nearest most of us get to a sponge is when it's sitting on the bathroom shelf, but scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have found four new species of carnivorous sponge that are chomping their way through undersea life off the coast of California. Most sponges filter particles of food from …
Iain Thomson, 16 Apr 2014

FREEZE, GLASSHOLE! California cops bust Google Glass driver

California cops have issued what is thought to be the first ticket for wearing Google's head-mounted Glass computers while driving. "A cop just stopped me and gave me a ticket for wearing Google Glass while driving!" said Cecilia Abadie on her Google+ page. "The exact line says: Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google …
Iain Thomson, 30 Oct 2013

California high school hackers expelled for grade tampering, test thievery

A group of students have been kicked out of a California high school over charges that they hacked teachers' computers in order to change their grades. The Newport-Mesa Unified School District said that it had voted to expel 11 students in connection with charges of grade tampering and unauthorized access to teachers' computers …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Feb 2014
GolfBoard

California OLDSTER in WILD golf course SKATEBOARDING spree

A Californian pensioner has invented a bizarre new golf buggy inspired by a skateboard, which he claims will open up this fusty sport to a younger audience. The GolfBoard is a motorised device which allows putters to pootle around the course at a speed of up to 12 miles per hour (19kmph). It was originally launched on …
Jasper Hamill, 23 Dec 2013
The Register breaking news

Space shuttle to slip surly bonds of Earth one last time over California

Retired space shuttle Endeavour is set for a sightseeing tour of California and LA today, in a whistle-stop flyover of the state. Space shuttle Endeavour over Reliant Stadium and Astrodome The shuttle, piggybacking on its 747 jumbo-jet, will fly over the north of the state and a large part of the Los Angeles basin, buzzing …
The Register breaking news

California begins crackdown on mobile app developers

In the next few weeks, up to 100 mobile application developers will be getting a letter from California's government ordering them to install privacy protection warnings on their apps or face the legal consequences. The letters warn that "an operator of a commercial Web site or online service that collects personally …
Iain Thomson, 31 Oct 2012

Amazon opens doors to Kinesis: The Hotel California of the cloud

The more data you put in a cloud, the harder it is to migrate away. And so Amazon's new "Kinesis" data ingester is a neat piece of technology, and at the same time a canny way to turn Amazon Web Services into the Hotel California of the cloud. Kinesis was announced by the web bazaar's chief technology officer Werner Vogels in a …
Jack Clark, 14 Nov 2013

Super Cali optimistic cloud is now a focus – even though the sound of it is something quite

California has become the first state in the US to shift a massive chunk of its government computing system to the cloud – and dubbed it CalCloud. "CalCloud is an important step towards providing faster and more cost effective IT services to California state departments and ultimately to the citizens of California," said Marybel …
Iain Thomson, 25 Jul 2014
management regulation2

Ethernet patents claim smacked down by US judge

Ethernet Innovations' sue-the-world strategy is beginning to unravel, with a California judge invalidating two of its patents and ruling that another two, on which it had based its lawsuits, hadn't been infringed. Companies who had decided to settle might be wishing they'd resisted, with Acer, Dell, HP and a bunch of other …
Rutger Hauer

Super Cali goes ballistic, Uber Pool is bogus: Ride sharing biz is illegal in the state, says regulator

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has warned Lyft, Sidecar, and Uber that their ride-sharing services are technically illegal under the state's licensing laws. All three companies are piloting schemes whereby users can sign up to share a ride to a location and get charged a reduced fee by the driver. But the CPUC …
Iain Thomson, 13 Sep 2014
The Register breaking news

California clears way for Steve Jobs' 'private Apple spaceship'

Apple's giant glass doughnut with apricot groves will be fast-tracked through the planning system, Cupertino City Council announced, smoothing the approval process for its 3 million square foot (278,709m2) Campus 2 building. The move comes six weeks after Apple buried its neighbours in publicity material explaining how great the …
Anna Leach, 05 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

Facebook IPO to stuff $2.5bn in California tax coffers

California state budget analysts report that Facebook's impending IPO will bring the state a tax windfall of nearly $2.5bn. "Facebook's possible IPO ... [is] likely to generate substantial capital gains and other income for a small number of Californians and, in so doing, generate additional state tax revenues over the next few …
Rik Myslewski, 06 Mar 2012
Lyft cars

Ban? What ban? Lyft buys carpool app maker Hitch

Ride-sharing service Lyft is looking to boost its carpooling service with the acquisition of smaller rival Hitch, even though both companies could be in violation of California state laws. The company said that Hitch, which specializes in a ride-sharing service similar to Lyft Line, would should down effective Tuesday and all …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Sep 2014

Nimbus Data sues over unpaid bill: 'Kit didn't work', says customer

Flash array firm Nimbus Data is suing a customer, insurance telemetry firm Modus LLC, because it did not complete payments for an E-Class array flash array it ordered from Nimbus. The case is being dealt with in Northern California, with Nimbus suing for a breach of contract and recovery of debt. According to documents filed …
Chris Mellor, 13 Oct 2014
Funnel of cash. Credit: via SXC – http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Leonardini

Brocade: California taxman took off with our profits

Storage networking and Ethernet supplier Brocade has grown its latest quarter's revenues but swung from profit to loss after changes to the state of California's tax code. It reckons it will soon be doing even better now on the back of its 16GBit/s Fibre Channel kit and added that software-defined networking has opened up a …
Chris Mellor, 15 Feb 2013
Google logo

Mystery Google barges TORPEDOED by US govt: Showrooms declared death traps

Google's ambitious plan to build floating showrooms out of giant barges was killed over fears the boats were death traps. Documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal reveal the advertising giant ran afoul of US Coast Guard safety inspectors, who believed the barges posed a serious fire hazard to those on board. In particular …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Nov 2014
Uber logo

Super Cali so litigious, Uber is the focus. Even German judges say it's something quite atrocious

Taxi biz Uber perhaps can't wait to put this week in its rearview mirror – after it was dealt legal setbacks in four major cities: two in Germany, and two in California. In August, officials in Berlin and Hamburg decided that Uber should not operate in the two cities due to safety concerns and worries about unfair competition …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Sep 2014
The Register breaking news

Musk to blast right of way through California with railgun Concorde

Elon Musk dropped a few further hints about his Hyperloops transit plan in London last night, saying it was "a cross between a Concorde and a rail gun" whose biggest hurdles included "right-of-way" issues. And it seems that the ultimate destiny of the futuristic system would be to shift aging tech entrepreneurs around their …
Joe Fay, 16 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

'Amazon Tax' California decision pushed back a year

Amazon's bosses have their fingers crossed in hope that the US government will come round to their way of thinking on sales tax for online retailers after winning a year's reprieve from legislators in California. A new amendment to AB155, the so-called Amazon Tax law that will allow California to collect sales tax from online …
Google car

Pedals and wheel in that Google robo-car or it's off the road – Cali DMV

Google's driverless car that eschews a steering wheel and pedals has hit a legal road bump in California. The state's Department of Motor Vehicles has issued new regulations, due to kick in on September 16, that insist all robot cars come equipped with a steering wheel and pedals in case the vehicle's computer literally crashes …
Iain Thomson, 22 Aug 2014
Apple signs for auction

18,000 Apple employees could get bite of profits with class-action lawsuit

A lawsuit against Apple by disgruntled employees has just been granted class-action status, potentially creating a payday for staff who say the firm held back their wages and stopped them from taking rest breaks. The lawsuit (PDF), originally filed in 2011 by former Apple retail and corporate staff, claims that managers …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jul 2014
Sun open sources Java

Sun of a beach! Java biz founder loses battle to keep his shore private

Vinod Khosla, cofounder of Sun Microsystems and billionaire venture capitalist, has lost his battle for his own private beach after surfers successfully sued him for access. In 2008 Khosla spent $37.5m on a 53-acre property on the San Mateo coast overlooking Martin's Beach, a 200-acre stretch of sand that is much beloved by the …
Iain Thomson, 25 Sep 2014
Mobile phone stolen by pickpocket

AT&T: 'twas conniving contractors who nicked your info

AT&T is warning customers that their personal information might have been breached as part of a scheme to unlock and resell devices. The company said in a filing to the California Attorney General's office that employees at an unnamed service provider it works with had accessed the personal data of customers including social …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jun 2014
Space X Dragon in Orbit

Lawsuit claims SpaceX laid off hundreds without proper notice, pay

Former employees of Elon Musk's SpaceX filed a class-action lawsuit against the private rocketry firm this week, alleging it unlawfully terminated hundreds of employees without giving proper notice or payouts for back wages and benefits. SpaceX reportedly let go between 200 and 400 workers from its factory in Hawthorne, …
Neil McAllister, 08 Aug 2014
homeless man with sign

Rich techbro CEOs told to SLEEP ROUGH before slamming the poor

The US congresswoman who represents some of the wealthiest areas of Silicon Valley has challenged technology moneybags to get some perspective on life – by sleeping rough or living off state handouts. House Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) said tech executives in the Bay Area should try living as the poor do to better …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Nov 2014
Scrooge McDuck

Silicon Valley scrooges paid staff $1.21 an hour in a 122-hour week

A successful Silicon Valley firm has admitted paying staff $1.21 an hour and working them for more than 120 hours a week. State officials got involved when an anonymous tipster alerted them to the activities of Electronics For Imaging, an international business based in the Bay Area that specializes in printing technology. The …
Iain Thomson, 24 Oct 2014
Google Chocolate Factory

Google: let's build our OWN quantum computer

Is Google gently backing away from D-Wave? That's one possible interpretation from this blog post, in which Mountain View tells the world it's going to add a quantum computer flavour to the Chocolate Factory. Google's Quantum Artificial Intelligence team is to partner with the University of California Santa Barbara “to design …
The Register breaking news

Amazon to give up the fight in California

Amazon has cut a deal to lay down its arms in its battle with Californian legislators over the introduction of a sales tax for online retailers in the state. The deal would postpone the imposition of a sales tax on Amazon until September 2012 and in return, the retailer would agree to stop spending its millions fighting the tax …
University California Riverside holo memory prototype

US boffins turn up the spin on holographic memory

Alongside the “beat Moore's law” stream of research, computer science boffins have also spent years working on increasing memory density. Now, University of California Riverside researchers have demonstrated a holographic memory based on a phenomenon called spin waves. As the university explains in this canned statement, spin …
The Register breaking news

Gulf of California terrorized by ONE-EYED MUTANT SHARK!

Scientists have decided that the “Cyclops shark” caught in the Gulf of California back in June is the real deal: a mutant rather than a hoax. First coming to light on the Pisces Fleet Sportfishing Blog, the images of the one-eyed dusky shark – actually a fetus found inside someone’s catch – were originally dismissed as a hoax. …
Orange Credit Card

If you ate at one of these PF Chang's restaurants, your bank card is at risk

US eatery chain P.F. Chang's has named 33 of its restaurants that were compromised by bank card fraudsters this year. The company said payment systems at its Chinese bistros in states from California to Florida were infiltrated, allowing crooks to siphon off victims' credit and debit card details. According to the restaurant …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Aug 2014
Panic button on keyboard

Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious

California's governor Jerry Brown has signed off on a bill that requires any manufacturer selling smartphones in the Golden State to install a kill switch capable of bricking the handset. Bill SB 962 has been signed into law, mandating all smartphones sold in California to have software in place to brick stolen handsets. The law …
Iain Thomson, 26 Aug 2014

Red Bull does NOT give you wings, $13.5m lawsuit says so

A website set up by Red Bull to allow its caffeine guzzling consumers to stake a claim to a multi-million dollar award for failing to get the wings its ad slogan promised, crashed under the weight of interest. The Austria-based drinks maker is to settle US lawsuits out of court, brought by a long-time user, Benjamin Careathers, …
Paul Kunert, 11 Oct 2014
Zombies, credit: Wikimedia from Night of The Living Dead

Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial

Google has won a victory in its battle against patent troll Rockstar, with a US District Court judge having denied Rockstar's request to try the case in the troll-friendly Eastern District of Texas, rather than in California. Google, which is headquartered in Mountain View, California, filed suit against Rockstar in December and …
Neil McAllister, 18 Apr 2014
US Broadband Map

America's hot and cold spots for broadband revealed in new map

A new map of broadband speeds shows which Americans enjoy the fastest and slowest internet connections. The map, assembled by IT service firm OfficeSuite from data in Akamai's State of the Internet report, shows the top speeds are in Virginia, though New England and the Pacific Northwest also enjoy strong service. That Virginia …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Aug 2014
The Register breaking news

Amazon throws tax hissy-fit, dumps California affiliates

Amazon and Overstock have severed their agreements with affiliates based in California, in an overnight response to the imposition of a sales tax for online retailers of physical goods. Online retailers are exempt from sales taxes, but dead-broke California introduced such a law on Wednesday night. "We oppose this bill because …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Jun 2011
The Scarecrow stand-in (for the Curiosity Mars rover) in tests in the Mojave desert. credit: NASA/JPL

NASA found filming August's Mars landing in California desert

NASA boffins have been found at a site deep in California's Mojave desert with a Mars rover of the exact type they say will land on Mars this August, filming the machine as it drove about among the Earthly sand dunes. The Scarecrow stand-in (for the Curiosity Mars rover) in tests in the Mojave desert. credit: NASA/JPL 'Hey, we …
Lewis Page, 16 May 2012

Dead Steve Jobs sued by own shareholders in no-poach pact brouhaha

Apple is once again facing a lawsuit, this time from its own shareholders over its no-poaching-of-staff pacts with rivals. A lawsuit [PDF] filed in California's San Jose District Court earlier this week claims the Cupertino giant misled investors and damaged the value of the company by striking a fishy hiring agreement with …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Aug 2014
A 1963 replica batmobile

Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale

A heavily-customised Oldsmobile said to be the first officially-licenced Batmobile will go to auction later in December. Created in 1963, three years before the infamously camp Batman TV show hit the airwaves, DC Comics allowed a US chap named Forrest Robinson to build a Batmobile, according to Heritage Auctions. The hammer- …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2014

Amazon shovels cash into hush-hush Lab126 despite Fire Phone fizzle

Amazon's much-hyped Fire Phone met a cool reception from consumers, but that won't stop CEO Jeff Bezos from doubling down on his consumer electronics ambitions, industry insiders claim. Citing anonymous sources, Reuters reports that the e-commerce giant plans to invest another $55m into its secretive Lab126 division, which …
Neil McAllister, 24 Sep 2014
UCSD's 500 GHz optical switch schematic

Three photons can switch an optical beam at 500 GHz

American photonics researchers have demonstrated an all-optical switching rig that can work at 500 GHz, controlling a beam using just three photons. High-speed switching in the optical domain is important for several reasons: it will let optical networks outperform anything that can be accomplished if the photonic signal has to …

£2k burning a hole in your pocket? Let this 'advanced' DRONE relieve you

The world's biggest consumer drone maker, China’s SZ DJI Technology Co, has released its "most advanced" drone to date. The manufacturer unveiled its Inspire 1 Drone, priced at $2,899- $3,399 (or from £2,380 in the UK store), which will go on sale this month. The kit includes a 360˚ rotating 4K camera, high-definition video …
Kat Hall, 13 Nov 2014