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'Lenovo, Superfish put smut on my system' – class-action lawsuit

A California woman has filed the first lawsuit against Lenovo and Superfish over the pair's adware debacle, claiming the "malware" injected smutty pictures into her web browser on her Yoga laptop. A class-action filing [PDF] in the state's southern district court recounts how Jessica Bennett bought a Lenovo Yoga 2 laptop in late …
Iain Thomson, 23 Feb 2015
Google Wallet 'vision' illustration

Google hooks up with group formerly known as ISIS to battle Apple Pay

Google has inked a major deal with mobile payment alliance Softcard that will see its Google Wallet payments system pre-installed on phones sold by American carriers AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. The carriers will begin shipping the Google Wallet app later this year on mobes running Android 4.4 "KitKat" or higher, according to a …
Neil McAllister, 23 Feb 2015
stingray

ACLU: Here's a secret – cops are using the FBI's fake cell-tower tech to track crims' phones

Documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union have shown that US cops are using the FBI's Stingray mobile phone tracking tech much more often than first thought. And the Feds are going to great lengths to hide the full extent of its use. "The documents paint a detailed picture of police using an invasive technology …
Iain Thomson, 23 Feb 2015

German music moguls slammed for 'wurst ever DMCA takedown spam'

A German record label's bungling anti-piracy software flooded Google with demands to remove search results – just because the links included the word "download" in their URLs. Total Wipes Music Group says it never meant to falsely accuse sites – including TorrentFreak.com, MacUpdate.com and Opera.com – of hosting illegal …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Feb 2015

FCC Republicans slam brakes on net neutrality, but this wagon ain't slowing

The two Republican commissioners on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have formally called for this week's vote on net neutrality to be delayed. The US watchdog's panel of commissioners are due to approve or reject FCC chairman Tom Wheeler's secret proposals to regulate internet access in America as if it is a phone …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Feb 2015

Tweak comms laws or Facebook 'n' Twitter folk will be treated like CRIMINALS

UK communications laws should be reformed to account for the social media age, a civil liberties group has said. Big Brother Watch (BBW) said (27-page/705KB PDF) existing laws under the Communications Act, and guidelines for public prosecutors on how they should be applied to social media communications, are unsuitable. Without …
OUT-LAW.COM, 23 Feb 2015
Beer taps at a pub. Via http://www.freeimages.com/

Last round, folks: Dell 'n' pals pull out wallets as Nexenta preps for IPO

Nexenta is clearly keen to be top dog of the software-defined storage world. After reportedly experiencing 100 per cent year-on-year growth from 2013 to 2014, Nexenta says it is gearing up for an IPO in the next 18 months or so – with channel and geographic expansion and a final funding round coming. Nexenta says it has reached …
Chris Mellor, 23 Feb 2015
Facebook privacy image

Facebook privacy policy violates European law, says report

Facebook's privacy policy is in breach of European law, a report commissioned by the Belgian Data Protection Authority concluded on Monday. "Facebook’s opt-out system for advertising does not meet the requirements for legally valid consent," said the report by the Centre of Interdisciplinary Law and ICT and Intellectual Property …
Kat Hall, 23 Feb 2015
Woman packs up contents of desk. Image via shutterstock

IBM: UK Systems Middleware voluntary redundo plan launches

IBMers wanting to leap from the business before they are pushed will today get more details of the package they'll walk away with when leaving Big Blue. The Employee Consultation Committee for Systems Middleware staffers working in Platform, Integration or Smarter Process units was formed last week and its first meeting has …
Paul Kunert, 23 Feb 2015
Privacy image

Google’s privacy policy: Italians probing a little deeper

Google is to be subject to regular on-site spot checks by the Italian data protection regulator under moves to ensure the Chocolate Factory complies with the country's privacy laws. "For the first time in Europe, it will be the subject of regular checks to monitor progress status of the actions to bring its platform into line …
Kat Hall, 23 Feb 2015

Ailing Calyx Managed Services flogged to MXC Capital for £9m

Private equity fund Better Capital has offloaded troubled Calyx Managed Services to tech investment and advisory house MXC Capital for £9m in what signifies a likely break-up of the biz. VC veteran Jon Moulton’s Calyx MS came on the market before Christmas, with corporate financier Rickitt Mitchell & Partners distributing an …
Paul Kunert, 23 Feb 2015
Terror at 20,000 feet

Facebook meets Belgian minister: PLEASE, sir, NOT THE PROBE

Facebook is talking to Belgian authorities in an effort to avoid a Dutch-style investigation into its privacy policy. Representatives of the social network met with the Belgian privacy minister, Bart Tommelein, on Wednesday afternoon in an attempt to persuade him that Facebook’s new privacy policy is not in breach of the Belgian …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Feb 2015
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything

Hawking thesp Eddie Redmayne and Snowden doc Citzenfour win Oscars

Citizenfour – the documentary about master spy blabbermouth Edward Snowden – and Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything have won Academy Awards. Brit thespian Eddie Redmayne took Best Actor for his portrayal of theoretical physicist Hawking. Citizenfour took home the prize for Best Documentary Feature. The Reg will …
Team Register, 23 Feb 2015
Cherry

NBN Co's HFC build will be DOCSIS 3.1 ready, but use 3.0 only

NBN Co has settled on its key partner for the HFC part of its network, with Arris nominated to provide cable termination and passive equipment. The deal, reported by Comms Day as being worth AU$400m, sees Arris, the company that acquired Motorola's HFC business, pip Cisco for the cable network business. Arris executives today …

Brocade's IP strategy stutters in flat first quarter

A recovery in storage area networking product revenues has offset sliding IP networking sales to give Brocade a first quarter 2015 revenue result of US$576m, up two per cent quarter-on-quarter and the same amount year-on-year. Although flat year-on-year at at US$353m, the SAN segment swelled nine per cent in Q1 2015, reversing a …

Greens want better metadata access oversight

Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has warned of what he thinks is a likely ALP opposition “rollover” on data retention. Speaking to the IT Leaders Forum, a weekend conference for technology media. Ludlam said the opposition is likely to “send a few good, stout-hearted people out to make statements” before caving in. Ludlam …

Didn't the Left once want the WORKERS to get all the dosh?

Worstall @ the Weekend I'm old enough to remember when the British left really was dominated by Marxist thinking, however thinly or thickly that was covered by a layer of Fabianism or some other "socialism lite". I haven't forgotten that the old Clause 4 of the Labour Party constitution, for example, insists that workers "by hand or brain" really …
Tim Worstall, 22 Feb 2015

Seven months of Basil Brush on YouTube: Er, boom boom?

Legendary stuffed TY character Basil Brush will now be available on YouTube, after TV bosses reportedly refused to give him fresh airtime. According to the Daily Mirror, Brush will be releasing a new sketch every Monday for the next 32 weeks. Brush, who, we are told, is currently on a nationwide tour, said: “I was on the Beeb …
Gareth Corfield, 21 Feb 2015

Net neutrality crunch poll: Americans want to know WTF it is

Analysis With commissioners at US watchdog the FCC due to vote on proposed net neutrality rules next week, a poll of Americans has revealed two interesting and important aspects: Most of them don't know what on Earth net neutrality actually is. Most of them want to see the rules before they are approved. This is unlikely to stop the …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Feb 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
Crop of doctor with pen and clipboard

Ready to fill out your US taxes? Cool. Got ObamaCare? Not so fast

Staff behind the US government's HealthCare.gov say Americans may have received bungled tax forms from the portal – and should hold off filing them. The health insurance broker on Friday confirmed that it would have to send out new 1095-A claim forms after approximately 800,000 people received incorrectly calculated forms based …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Feb 2015
jaws

Man the HARPOONS: YOU can EASILY SLAY ad-scumware Superfish

+Updates The US government's Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has said the Superfish ad-injecting malware installed by Lenovo on its new laptops is a "critical" threat to security. Chinese PC peddler Lenovo bundled the software nasty to make a fast buck from its cheap, low-margin hardware: the application hijacks web browsers …
Iain Thomson, 20 Feb 2015
Laurel and Hardy on the phone

Hellooo, NSA? The US State Department can't kick hackers out of its networks – report

An attack against US State Department servers is still ongoing three months after the agency spotted miscreants inside its email system, it's reported. In November the State Department was forced to suspend its unclassified email systems after it was successfully infiltrated by hackers unknown. At the time the agency said its …
Iain Thomson, 20 Feb 2015

'NSA, GCHQ-ransacked' SIM maker Gemalto takes a $500m stock hit

The world's biggest SIM card manufacturer, Gemalto, revealed yesterday to have been hacked by the NSA and GCHQ, has taken a $470m hit in its stock price. Gemalto was caught unawares by the revelation that the US and UK intelligence agencies had compromised its systems, and stole potentially millions of SIM card keys used to …
John Leyden, 20 Feb 2015
The Child Catcher

Google hatching YouTube Kiddie Vids – report

Google is about to enter the lucrative revenue stream of advertising to children, with the Chocolate Factory set to reportedly announce a YouTube app for kids. YouTube executive Malik Ducard will unveil YouTube Kids on Monday at the entertainment industry event Kidscreen Summit, according to The Wall Street Journal. A source …
Kat Hall, 20 Feb 2015
HMRC

The Revenue achieved RECORD numbers of e-tax returns ... by NOT shifting to GOV.UK

Special Report Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) was forced to take radical steps to keep the British government's cash rolling in, as its deadline to move its websites into the new GOV.UK digital empire drew near. HMRC even opened a centre for a digital team in Newcastle, one that looked and felt like a clone of the Cabinet Office's …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Feb 2015
Assassin's Creed III

Australian ISPs agree to three-strikes-plus-court-order anti-piracy plan

Australia's internet service providers (ISPs) and Big Content have released a first draft of a proposed anti-piracy scheme. The TL;DR version is that the plan calls for Big Content to indemnify ISPs, so that after a three-strikes regime has played out in letters ISPs hand over customer contact details and Hollywood can let slip …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Feb 2015
gTLD graphic

What's the hot domain dot-news? Er, it's .news

Domain specialist Rightside has won the fight for the generic top-level domain dot-news and will roll it out in the middle of the year. The company acquired the rights to sell all domains ending in .news through an auction and its partner domain company Donuts – beating Amazon as well as several other specialist registry …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Feb 2015
Dial before you dig

Telstra CEO David Thodey retires

The CEO of Australia's dominant telco, Telstra, will step down in May. David Thodey's spent six years in the carrier's big chair, but has "announced his retirement" according to Telstra's canned statement on the matter. That statement also points out that Telstra's market cap and share price have just about doubled during …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Feb 2015

What does America need right now? Data science! (says, er, the first Chief Data Scientist)

The White House has created the post of Chief Data Scientist and hired the guy who coined the term as its first incumbent, DJ Patil. Patil lives in California and has worked for a number of Silicon Valley giants, including LinkedIn, eBay, PayPal and Skype. Now he's moving to Washington DC for the role and report to Chief …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Feb 2015

Global DNS power grab: US senators want a word with ICANN next week

The process to move oversight of the world's DNS system away from the US government is heading to Congress with a hearing scheduled for later this month. On 25 February, the Senate's commerce committee will run a session called "Preserving the Multistakeholder Model of Internet Governance". The session will feature the man in …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Feb 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
Batteries

Tim Cook slurped our brains, snarl fat battery bods A123

Battery manufacturer A123 Systems, specialists in large-scale battery tech for vehicles and power grids, has slung a sueball at Apple for allegedly poaching its engineers. The case concerns five former employees of A123 currently employed by Apple, according to a court filing released on Tuesday. While employed by A123, the …
Kat Hall, 19 Feb 2015

UK public sector biz keeps French giant Atos buoyant

Sales at French outsourcing giant Atos rose 5.1 per cent to €9.1bn (£5.9bn) for its full-year 2014, buoyed by UK public sector spend. Net income was €283m (£183m), up a respectable nine per cent from the previous year. However, the firm said when currency exchange was taken into account, sales dropped 1.1 per cent on last year …
Kat Hall, 19 Feb 2015
Stella Artois: Queens Tennis Championship. Artwork by stevecaplin.com for The Guardian

(Re)touching on a quarter-century of Adobe Photoshop

Feature Nothing proves the popularity of a star product more than its name being used as a verb. Rival companies hate it, but carpets get Hoovered, wrapping paper gets Sellotaped. And what do you do to a photo? A poorly Photoshopped picture can arouse horror or derision, while a half-decent one can become an internet phenomenon. Think …
Alistair Dabbs, 19 Feb 2015

Ukraine suddenly 40% more interested in UK tax info – HMRC

Cooperation between HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and foreign tax authorities will only increase as more countries sign up to automatic tax information exchange agreements. This is according to Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, which obtained figures showing a 45 per cent increase in the number of requests for …
OUT-LAW.COM, 19 Feb 2015
Kim Dotcom

Former Mrs Dotcom hooks up with Xbox 'toyboy'

Here's one to file under #couldnthappentoanicerbloke: Kim Dotcom's former bride appears to have taken up with a younger, slimmer man. News that Dotcom now has relationship troubles to place alongside his legal, financial and political travails comes to us from New Zealand's Woman's Day, which this week brings us the news that " …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Feb 2015

After Brit spies 'snoop' on families' lawyers, UK govt admits: We flouted human rights laws

The British government has admitted that its practice of spying on confidential communications between lawyers and their clients was a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Details of the controversial snooping emerged in November: lawyers suing Blighty over its rendition of two Libyan families to be tortured …
Iain Thomson, 19 Feb 2015
management regulation1

Big Content picks on small Australian ISPs again

Big Content has once again headed to Australia in an attempt to make internet service providers (ISPs) at least partly responsible for their customers' illegal downloads, this time by coughing up their contact details. Hollywood spent years trying to make ISPs liable for illegal downloads by their subscribers in the “iiTrial”, …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Feb 2015

Hoping for spy reforms? Jeb Bush, dangerously close to being the next US prez, backs the NSA

Vid Former Florida governor, brother of former President George W Bush, son of former President George H W Bush, and Republican frontrunner for the 2016 US presidential election, Jeb Bush ... has strongly defended the NSA's mass surveillance of innocent people. Speaking at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs as part of his run for …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Feb 2015
ABS population density calculated on the national grid

Australian government may take leave of its census

Updated Australia's government is considering radically restructuring its national census. The exercise, which cost $AU440 million in 2011, is under the microscope as the government assembles its 2015 budget. Fairfax reports that the census could be delayed or replaced with a smaller survey. The Australian is less certain of the census …

'Net neutrality will turn the internet communist – and make Iran's day'

Former FCC commissioner Robert McDowell has attempted to revive the argument that proposed net neutrality rules in the US will lead to a UN-run (read, Chinese-run) internet. These draft rules are due to be voted on by FCC commissioners next week. In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, titled "Dictators Love the FCC’s Plan to …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Feb 2015