Articles about California

The Turbo Ace Octocopter. Pic: Turbo Ace

Disaster-gawping cam drones to be blasted out of the sky in California

California politicians want emergency services to knock interfering drones out of the sky without fear of repercussion – after a gang of flying gizmos got in the way of firefighters tackling a terrifying blaze. Last Friday, a forest fire roared across Interstate 15 near Cajon Pass in southern California, forcing motorists to …
Iain Thomson, 22 Jul 2015
Hyperloop plans

Elon Musk plans to plonk urban Hyperloop subsonic tube on California

Billionaire space baron Elon Musk has inked a deal with land developers in California to allow his company to begin installing an over-hyped, loopy new transport system appropriately dubbed Hyperloop. Previous mutterings from Musk had suggested that the first railgun-like tube-way would be constructed by Hyperloop Transportation …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Feb 2015
Drought

Samsung offers $90,000 if you can fix California's epic drought with tech

IoT World 2015 Samsung is offering prizes of up to US$90,000 to device devs who come up with good ways to tackle the record-setting drought in California – and who are willing to use the its brand-new Artik Internet of Things (IoT) platform to do so. In announcing the competition at IoT World in San Francisco on Tuesday, Samsung chief strategy …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 May 2015

California mulls law to protect your e-privates from warrant-free cops

California is considering a new law that would make police searches of electronic devices such as phones and laptops subject to the same controls as filing cabinets, drawers and other physical objects. State Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco has put forward a bill that would require the authorities to obtain a search warrant …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Feb 2015
USS independence then and now

RADIOACTIVE WWII aircraft carrier FOUND OFF CALIFORNIA

The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says it has found the final resting place of the USS Independence, a World War Two aircraft carrier. The Independence (CVL-22) was commissioned as cruiser, but adapted to become a light carrier as the demands of the Pacific war made mobile air power …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Apr 2015

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
New York City's Manhattan skyline

New York side-eyes California's hack attack laws: I'll have what she's having

New York's attorney general is asking the state to set new rules requiring companies to confess when they've been hacked. The Big Apple's AG Eric Schneiderman said that he is going to ask the state to force organizations to disclose the loss of customer user names, passwords and security question answers as part of its …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jan 2015

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
Sunset over the Texan desert. Photo by ArchBob, licensed under cc0 public domain

A Brit in California moves to the Lone Star State – just swerve the TexMex grub

The eXpat Files This week's expat is Derek Bergin, a self-described “Scots/Yorkshire hybrid” whose last UK residence was Milton Keynes. After the dot-bomb, he moved to California, but he has recently moved again to Texas. That makes him just about a double-expat in our eyes. Or are we overestimating the differences between Texas and California …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Mar 2015

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
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

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

Antique Code Show 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

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
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

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
Uber launch party by https://www.flickr.com/photos/5chw4r7z/ CC2.0 sharelalike attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Uber slapped with $7.3m fine for keeping quiet about driver accidents

A Californian judge has ruled that Uber, by refusing to disclose particular business practices to state regulators, is in breach of the conditions under which it is allowed to operate in the state. The international controversy-courting ride-hailing service received a hard spanking on its home turf when an administrative law …
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 …

California Uber Alles: Google wants to become the World Privacy Court

Analysis Google's advisory panel on privacy recommends rolling back 160 years of UK common law, say legal experts, with Google itself creating new interpretations of well-established legal principles. The consequence would be that Google usurps the courts' role in guarding individual privacy, which critics say would be like the fox …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Feb 2015
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
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
Google Play Store

'Hackers racked up $$$$s via the Android Play Store, and Google won't pay me back'

A California woman is suing Google, alleging hackers exploited the ad giant's inadequate security to run up thousands of dollars in charges on her Play Store account. Susan Harvey, of Orange County, also accuses Google of refusing to reimburse her, and then after backing down and agreeing to refund the missing money, has not …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Apr 2015
Apple Maps on iOS

All right, who guessed 'street mapping' for those mystery Apple vans? Congratulations

Apple has revealed that its weird camera-mounted vans, seen roaming the California, are being used to gather images for a street mapping app. The Cupertino giant wrote on its website that it will be taking vehicles mounted with cameras around Europe and the US to gather street-level snaps for Apple Maps for iOS and OS X – pretty …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jun 2015
Julia Reda MEP, Pirate Party. Pic: Joachim S. Müller

California über alles? Is MEP Reda flushing Euro copyright tradition down the pan?

Interview + update The European Parliament this week made one of its strangest ever decisions, endorsing the replacement of the European cultural tradition with American ideas. Author and academic Robert Levine thinks Pirate MEP Julia Reda’s copyright reform* proposals are the policy equivalent of photo-bombing, and MEPs haven’t really twigged …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Jun 2015

Ex-Apple bods suing Apple for bag searches get class-action upgrade

Two former Apple Store staffers suing Apple for searching their bags at work for possible stolen gear have upgraded their legal challenge to a wide-ranging class-action lawsuit. Judge William Alsup approved the class-action status in California's northern district court in San Francisco on Thursday. It means the lawsuit, …
Chris Williams, 17 Jul 2015
Google car

SHOCK! Robot cars do CRASH. Because other cars have human drivers

Self-driving cars have put in hundreds of thousands of miles on California's roads and, according to the state's Department of Motor Vehicles, they have had four bumps and scrapes along the way. In September 2014, California's DMV issued new guidelines that allow autonomous vehicles on state roads, as long as there's a human …
Iain Thomson, 11 May 2015
Bonfire. Pic: DiAnn L'Roy, Flickr

Americans find fantastic new use for drones – interfering with firefighting

A blaze in southern California, which has already destroyed several cars and homes, has added another tool to its arsenal of dangers: bystanders' drones. NBC LA reports that drones taking footage of the blaze prevented the state's firefighting air units from getting involved in the firefighting effort, due to fears of …
Rotten apple

Apple store staffers probed like 'criminals', lawsuit claims

Apple retail store staffers, routinely frisked for stolen goods at the end of a shift or before breaks, complained to Tim Cook of being treated like “criminals”, as part of a written policy that was “demeaning”. The claim was contained in a 2013 lawsuit filed in California, parts of which the judge unsealed yesterday, that seeks …
Paul Kunert, 11 Jun 2015
TVs by Holly at Flickr, CC 2.0 license

US court agrees $563m settlement over CRT anti-trust allegations

A $563m (£372m) settlement has been agreed over alleged price fixing by large TV and computer screen manufactures, including Philips, Pansaonic, Hitachi, Toshiba and Samsung SDI. The lawsuit claims that the defendants fixed the prices of cathode ray tubes (CRTs) from March 1, 1995 to November 25, 2007, which resulted in …
Kat Hall, 02 Jun 2015
Photo by Mike Mozart

FBI probe physical intrusions into Californian internet cables

The FBI is investigating a series of attacks on internet cabling in California – and has revealed that wiring has been meddled with at least eleven times in the San Francisco Bay Area within the past year. The bureau confirmed to USA Today that it is investigating a more traditional form of hacking against California's internet …
Gavel

Man sues Uber for a BEEELLION dollars over alleged theft of concept

Uber is being sued by the founder of a small wireless business who claims Uber stole his idea for a ride-sharing app. Kevin Halpern, founder of a company called Celluride Wireless, is suing Uber and its CEO Trevor Kalanick, along with several other early investors in the company, accusing them of having misappropriated trade …

Yahoo! must! face! class-action! suit! over! email! snooping! – judge

A US judge has given the green light to a class-action lawsuit that accuses Yahoo! of illegally violating email users' privacy by scanning the contents of their messages to deliver targeted advertising. The nationwide suit alleges that the Purple Palace intercepted and parsed the content of emails sent to Yahoo! Mail accounts …
Neil McAllister, 27 May 2015
Google car

Californians get first chance to be RUN OVER by a GOOGLE ROBOT

A number of Google's self-driving car prototypes are expected to leave the Chocolate Factory's test track this summer and head out onto some of the public roads around Mountain View, California. The world's largest ad broker said the robocars had undergone "rigorous testing" to ensure the software and sensors work. However, …
Kat Hall, 15 May 2015
Fiber optics

Boffins set networking record with marathon 12,000 km fiber data run

A group of university researchers claim to have developed a method to increase the data bandwidth of fiber optic cables by eliminating a barrier that has limited the maximum power at which optical signals can be sent. The team from University of California, San Diego said its method of adjusting the frequency of light signals …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jun 2015
Doctor Nick Riviera

Hackers invade systems holding medical files on 4.5 million Cali patients

UCLA Health hospitals say hackers may have accessed personal information and medical records on 4.5 million patients. The California medical group admitted today that miscreants infiltrated its computer systems as long ago as September. It is possible the intruders accessed databases holding patient names, addresses, dates of …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jul 2015
management regulation1

Revenge porn kingpin Hunter Moore pleads guilty to basically being a total cyber-scumbag

Internet coward Hunter Moore, who uploaded women's stolen nude snaps to his "revenge porn" website, has admitted charges of unauthorized access to a computer and identity theft. The 28-year-old, of Woodland, California, US, faces up to seven years in prison and a $500,000 penalty as a result. He is expected to be sentenced in …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Feb 2015

DEATH by VEGETABLES: Woman charged with killing boyf using carrots. And peas

A woman in California allegedly killed her boyfriend using mixed veg, according to local news reports. According to NBCLA, a local prosecutor states that Linda Clarene Jackson, 59, of Lake Los Angeles, allegedly attacked her 59-year-old boyfriend, David Ruiz, while he was in her house. The local TV station reported further that …
Team Register, 23 Jun 2015
Uber launch party by https://www.flickr.com/photos/5chw4r7z/ CC2.0 sharelalike attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Uber to drivers: You make a ton of dosh for us – but that doesn't make you employees

Uber is arguing in court that 160,000 drivers who offer people rides for money via the upstart's app are not actually its employees. The taxi-booking software startup told the California Northern District Court that its smartphone app was only a "lead generation" tool, and that drivers who operate on Uber are more akin to …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jul 2015
Star Wars: Force Unleashed II

Boffins' ball barrage bombardment biffs bumbling bimble biped-bot

Morning Vid For your amusement this morning we have this video of a walker robot being attacked by a gang of boffins in a park: The machine was built at Oregon State University, is known as the ATRIAS and - you guessed it - is funded by Pentagon warboffin bureau DARPA. It's to be a contender at the DARPA Robotics Challenge in California …
Lewis Page, 05 May 2015
gavel_judgment_channel

Adobe and software pals haul Forever 21 to court over piracy allegations

A trio of software firms is taking a large US-based fashion retailer to court for allegedly pirating their software. Adobe, Autodesk and Corel claim that clothes bazaar Forever 21 infringed their copyright by illegally copying a raft of well-known software tools and not paying license fees. Forever 21 is a $3.8bn retailer with …
Gavin Clarke, 02 Feb 2015

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

re:Invent 2013 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
Uber launch party by https://www.flickr.com/photos/5chw4r7z/ CC2.0 sharelalike attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Super Cali goes ballistic – Uber says it's bogus (even though its contract is something quite atrocious)

A California labor commission has ruled that an Uber driver has won the right to be treated as an employee of the taxi app upstart, rather than as a contractor. The decision threatens to disrupt the disruptive tech biz: moneybags Uber keeps its costs fantastically low by treating its drivers as freelancers, meaning they have to …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jun 2015
management regulation1

NO CLASS: Judge chucks out two class-action lawsuits against Google

A California court has dismissed two class-action lawsuits, which accused Google of bad business behavior, on grounds that the plaintiffs couldn't provide sufficient evidence to support their claims. The oldest suit of the two, which was filed by law firm Hagens Berman in May 2014, alleged that Google's habit of requiring …
Neil McAllister, 21 Feb 2015
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
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
Sparks, image via Shutterstock

IBM lobs 3,500 staffers at Apache Spark

IBM has thrown its full weight behind Spark, Apache’s open-source cluster computing framework. Spark will form the basis of all of Big Blue's analytics and commerce platforms and its Watson Health Cloud. The framework will also be sold as a service on its Bluemix cloud. IBM will commit more than 3,500 of its researchers and …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Jun 2015

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

Insurer tells hospitals: You let hackers in, we're not bailing you out

When hackers swiped 32,500 patient records from Cottage Healthcare System, it was sued by its own customers for $4.1m – a bill that was settled by its insurers. Now the insurance company, Columbia Casualty Company, has claimed Cottage's computers were hopelessly insecure, and it wants its money back. Columbia claims the …
Shaun Nichols, 28 May 2015