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NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators

A law bill to reform some of the NSA's mass surveillance of innocent Americans died in the US Senate this evening. Democrats pushing through the proposed overhaul were two votes short of the 60 needed to break a Republican filibuster. While the bill would not have completely dismantled the NSA's spying operations, privacy …
Iain Thomson, 19 Nov 2014
Fight sticker

Uber exec wanted to sic private dicks on critics ... Hey, Emil Michael, COME AT US, bro

Car hire upstart Uber has apologized after a top exec suggested hiring investigators to expose the personal lives of its critics. Senior veep of business Emil Michael said at a private dinner in New York City that Uber could blow "a million dollars" assembling a crack team of gumshoes and journalists to find dirt on the startup' …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Nov 2014
Ray Harryhausen's skeleton army from "Jason and the Argonauts"

Fujitsu boss sets CDOs against CIOs at annual do

Traditional IT and CIOs are often seen as a corporate bottleneck, Duncan Tait, the European boss of Fujitsu warned Tuesday, as chief digital officers increasingly take the reins. Such upstarts had little truck with traditional ways of doing IT, said Tait, which may in part explain why the Japanese IT giant has pledged to pour $ …
Joe Fay, 18 Nov 2014
Airware video

ATTACK OF THE DRONES: ‘Nefarious’ private use rising, says top Blighty copper

A House of Lords committee has been told that while civilians are “undoubtedly” using drones to get up to no good, it was pretty difficult to do anything about it. Chief Inspector Nick Aldworth of the Metropolitan Police told the EU Internal Market, Infrastructure and Employment sub-committee that drones, known as Remotely …
ETERNUS_CD10000

Multi-petabyte open sorcery: Spell-binding storage

Mixing petabytes of data and open-source storage used to be the realm of cash-strapped academic boffins who didn’t mind mucking in with software wizardry. The need to analyse millions, billions even, of records of business events stored as unstructured information in multi-petabyte class arrays makes ordinary storage seem like …
Chris Mellor, 18 Nov 2014

Northern Ireland website leaves front door open, spills users' data

The creators of this Irish website may be fluent in the language of the Emerald Isle, but they are distinctly unversed in computer security. The Líofa (Fluent) website – a UK government project [PDF] – suffered not so much a data breach as a data giveaway. Users' personal information such as names, addresses, emails and phone …
Jennifer Baker, 18 Nov 2014
FAIL

Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights

UK communications watchdog Ofcom has opened an investigation into Premier League football TV rights, following a complaint from Virgin Media. The telco's chief Tom Mockridge said his company welcomed the probe. "Fans in the UK pay the highest prices in Europe to watch the least amount of football on TV," he griped. "Now is the …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Nov 2014

Keen to get CRITICAL PAYMENT systems up QUICKLY after HACK?

Restoring payment systems after disruptive cyber attacks could involve compromising analysis of incidents, says report A new report on cyber resilience in financial market infrastructures has highlighted potential conflicts between legal obligations on the reporting of cyber security or data breaches and the need to restore …
OUT-LAW.COM, 18 Nov 2014
QL launch: Micro Men style

UK urged to stop bigging up startups, feed 'growing' firms

The UK must stop obsessing over startups and instead channel its resources into growing companies, a wide-ranging report has said. Britain now starts more companies per head than the US, but has a lower proportion of businesses gradually scaling up to become large companies, compared with the US and other nations, said the …
Kat Hall, 18 Nov 2014

Deloitte builds sofa-and-slippers startup fund ... where's the fun in that?

Deloitte has taken a leap into the fast-moving, fail-often world of startup culture by developing a risk-free version of Silicon Valley. A charming anti-formula to the Bay Area's post-revenue darlings. The accountancy giant has put aside £25m ($39m) to fund new business ideas proposed by its own employees: the staffers get to …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Nov 2014
Bitcoins

Feds to auction off second tranche of Silk Road Bitcoins worth $19 MEEELLION

The US Marshals Service (USMS) is looking forward to another funding bonanza after holding another auction of Bitcoins seized from the Silk Road online bazaar that was allegedly run by Ross Ulbricht under the handle the Dread Pirate Roberts. The auction is for 50,000 Bitcoins, worth $19,241,924 at current market rates, and the …
Iain Thomson, 18 Nov 2014
The concrete blocks available for our rocket motor testing

'Pirate block' proposal back on Oz agenda

Australia's government is once again rumoured to favour the idea of ordering ISPs to block Websites accused of hosting copyright-infringing content, or linking to it. In the wake of its confirmed-then-denied-then-confused messages over whether or not its data (miscalled “metadata” to confuse citizens and journalists) retention …

Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW

Intel will combine its money-printing PC and loss-making mobile processor groups. Chipzilla is under mounting pressure from shareholders to deliver results in the mobile computing market, where the biz is a minnow compared to Brit rival ARM. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich let slip the news in an email to employees on Monday, according …
Neil McAllister, 18 Nov 2014

Big shadowy orgs should stop scooping up everyone's personal info – say Google, Facebook

A pressure group backed by some of the largest internet companies has urged the US Senate to pass the USA FREEDOM Act, which would curb some forms of online spying by the government. Reform Government Surveillance (RGS) voiced its support for the proposed law in an open letter published to it Tumblr site on Sunday, which was …
Neil McAllister, 18 Nov 2014
New York's proposed wi-fi station

You know those WEIRD glass sheds in New York? They'll be replaced with Gbps WiFi

New York City could replace its payphones in five boroughs with Wi-Fi hubs, to build a superfast city-wide wireless internet network. If approved by city officials and built, it would be the largest municipal Wi-Fi network in the world, we're told. The plan was drawn up by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and a consortium called LinkNYC …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Nov 2014
Another tree anchors the cable

NBN Co screws lid on FTTP coffin

NBN Co has set in place the new rollout principles announced last week, in the form of a new corporate plan. Published yesterday, the 2014-2017 plan lays out the company's expectations now that the “multi-technology mix” has been set in stone. In the event that NBN Co is able to complete its negotiations for access to Telstra's …
Gun and dollars

FCC: Gonna need y'all to cough up $1.5bn to put broadband in schools

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants to spend $1.5bn on hooking up high-speed broadband to more American schools and libraries. The money will come from you, dear US readers: the FCC will put up phone bills by about $2 a year per line to foot the damage, it's understood. Specifically, the monthly E-Rate charge …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Nov 2014
Taxi Driver

Now Uber can take EVERYONE for a ride

+Comment Casual car hire company Uber is teaming up with Spotify, ensuring neither your favourite musicians nor your driver get paid very much. "Uber users who link their Spotify account to their Uber account can push a button, get a ride and get in to the car their Spotify station is playing,” explained Travis Kalanick, Uber CEO. …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Nov 2014

Cyber security: Do the experts need letters after their name?

Despite its reticence over everything Snowden, GCHQ has been awfully proud of its work with academia over the last year. Though it has always worked closely with universities, the Cheltenham-based spy agency has given its backing to various government initiatives designed to give a fillip to British cyber-security wannabes and …
Tom Brewster, 17 Nov 2014

You know where Apple Pay is getting used a LOT? Yes - McDonalds

Half of all McDonald's US touch purchase transactions are now made using Apple Pay, the fast food giant has announced. You'd think Apple fans would be more likely to buy trendy organic nosh at Whole Foods than walk under the Golden Arches to buy a supersize meal. But the iColytes of Cupertino are seemingly willing to do both. …
Jasper Hamill, 17 Nov 2014
Tim Berners-Lee, photo by Paul Clarke

Are MPs smarter than 5-year-olds? We'll soon find out at coding school – Berners-Lee

The inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, has urged British MPs to learn how to code - in what could arguably be seen as his most ambitious call to action yet. Speaking at The Guardian's Every Second Counts Forum he said coding skills would equip MPs with the ability to legislate more effectively on technology. “ …
Kat Hall, 17 Nov 2014
PlayStation Vita

Sony SPILLS GUTS on OTT service, so far for PlayStations only

Analysis Sony has unveiled its widely expected PlayStation Vue OTT TV service, telling us everything we need to know except the most important part: the price. At present it is just a US phenomenon, which makes sense – if it can make it there it can make it anywhere. It is referred to as a cloud-based TV service and claims to reinvent …
Faultline, 17 Nov 2014
HP and Shrek 2

Shrek-as-a-service: DreamWorks and Infosys team up

Here's an odd one: Indian outsourcer Infosys and Hollywood animation studio DreamWorks Animation have created a “strategic engineering partnership”. The deal looks to involve Infosys running its eye over the technology DreamWorks uses to make movies and figuring out how to commercialise it. The Indian company will “... deploy …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2014

Cisco targets India with new investment

In a move interpreted as an endorsement of the new Indian government headed by reformer, and digital service delivery believer, Narendra Modi, Cisco wants to turn around its fortunes in India, and is reportedly putting US$1.7 billion on the table as part of its strategy. The Economic Times reports the commitment, which The Borg …

World leaders rubber-stamp tax recoup effort at G20 gabfest

The leaders meeting of the G20 group of nations has endorsed existing approaches to combating international legal-but-naughty tax avoidance schemes. Tax was on the agenda of the weekend gabfest because most G20 members are painfully aware that their balance sheets don't look great, in part because multinational companies have …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Nov 2014
Uncov chronicles the failure of Web 2.0

Parliamentary committee says data retention should need a warrant

An Australian parliamentary committee has taken aim at the nation's proposed data retention regime, saying it fails tests of privacy, necessity and proportionality on several grounds, and called on the government to require warrants for data collection. The bipartisan Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights last Friday ( …

UK digi exclusion: Poor families without internet access could 'miss out' on child tax credit

Brits who aren't online but are entitled to access to the Tory-led Coalition government's childcare tax break could lose out, it has been reported. According to the Independent on Sunday, which was handed a leaked letter to MPs from Exchequer Secretary Priti Patel, up to 200,000 families could be affected when the new tax is …
Kelly Fiveash, 16 Nov 2014

GT sapphire glaziers: You signed WHAT deal with Apple?

Worstall @ the Weekend It's been a terribly exciting few weeks, as we've seen GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) stumble and crash headlong into bankruptcy protection. The more documents are released by the court the more we can find out about just how this happened. And the more we do see, the more we realise that what actually happened is the …
Tim Worstall, 16 Nov 2014

Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY

Facebook has warned marketing types who use the free-content ad network to tout brands through so-called "promotional Page posts" that they will soon be extirpated. The Mark Zuckerberg-run company put admen on notice yesterday in a blog post that made it clear that Facebook will only allow brands to promote their own gear if …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Nov 2014
Revival

Stephen King, William Gibson and The Quantum Moment

Page File El Reg bookworms Lucy Orr and Mark Diston look at publishing's finest in scary and science fiction along with scientific uncertainties. Back on form are Stephen King with his latest spine tingler and William Gibson with a brain-teasing tale. Meanwhile physicists Robert P Crease and Alfred Scharff Goldhaber set about proving that …

FTC to Apple: Turn your head and cough while we feel for balls-up with HealthKit privacy

US watchdog the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is reportedly scrutinizing Apple's health-monitoring software and hardware, dubbed HealthKit, for privacy problems. The regulator has asked the iThing giant to come in and explain just how it planned to handle fans' private information, according to a Reuters report citing unnamed …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Nov 2014
Sad cloud

Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals

Apple, Microsoft, HP and other cloud giants are begging Europe for help to stop US feds seizing customers’ data from servers on the Continent. A policy paper [PDF] published on Friday by DigitalEurope – which represents the above goliaths – urged the European Commission to wade into an ongoing legal fight between Uncle Sam and …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Nov 2014

Players gonna play (play, play): Google confirms YouTube Music 'access all areas' key

The year's most controversial new music service has arrived - with a sense of anticlimax. Google's YouTube music streaming subscription service has finally been confirmed - with indie labels on board. "Google YouTube Music Key" (yes, it's really called that) feels provisional, a cog in a bigger picture. As the comments under the …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Nov 2014
by http://twitter.com/Thomas_Glaser

Jony Ive: Apple isn't here to make money. And students shouldn't use computers so much

Cupertino design don Jony Ive has claimed that Apple is not out to make money - even though it does happen to be the most valuable company in the world. Speaking at an event at London's Design Museum last night, Ive also said that bad design was "offensive", and criticised design students for using, um, computers. "We've tried …
Jasper Hamill, 14 Nov 2014

'You village peasants: Do you want broadband? Then give up your freedom'

Europe’s new digital czar has published his first official blog post, and it will make internet service providers very happy. Customers, less so. Gunther H-dot Oettinger has departed from former EU Commissioner Steelie Neelie Kroes’ position that customers should be able to switch providers easily. While he acknowledges that EU …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Nov 2014

Exit the dragon: US govt blows $325m on China-beating 300PFLOPS monster computer

Vid The US government has chosen IBM and Nvidia chips to build the world's fastest supercomputer – a 300 petaFLOPS beast that would trounce today's most powerful super: China's Tianhe-2. The Department of Energy has commissioned two supercomputers, it was revealed on Friday: one is a system codenamed "Summit", which will be …
Chris Williams, 14 Nov 2014

Mastercard and Visa to ERADICATE password authentication

Mastercard and Visa are removing the need for users to enter their passwords for identity confirmation as part of a revamp of the existing (oft-criticised) 3-D Secure scheme. The arrival of 3D Secure 2.0 next year will see the credit card giants moving away from the existing system of secondary static passwords to authorise …
John Leyden, 14 Nov 2014
Cloud security

Make sure big data doesn't land you in big trouble

Size isn't everything. Big data may be about storing terabytes or petabytes of information but it is also about complexity, and complexity often brings security challenges. Are you ready to handle them? Right now, someone in a marketing or finance role somewhere in your organisation is probably putting together a big data …
Danny Bradbury, 14 Nov 2014
Mark is delivered to online pharmacy page

Pharmacist caught spying on friends' med records fined £1,000

A pharmacist who unlawfully spied on family and friends’ medical records has received a modest fine after he was convicted of data protection offences. Harkanwarjit Dhanju, 50, was convicted of unlawfully accessing the medical records of family members, work colleagues and local health professionals while working as a "sessional …
John Leyden, 14 Nov 2014

Nokia: Buh-bye LUMIA and cash-sucking handset pals... LET'S MAKE SOME MONEY!

Nokia has raised its long-term profitability target and expects its new business of concentrating strictly on the telecoms equipment game to grow next year. The Finnish firm, which has focused on making telco gear and its intellectual property portfolio since ditching its handset unit earlier this year, said that strong demand …

Moshi Monsters' daddy Mind Candy: Falling sales, £2.2m loss...

Profits at Shoreditch darling Mandy Candy plunged into the red in 2013, with the company recording a £2.2m loss for the full-year 2013, compared with profits of £8m for 2012. During the same period revenue at the company - which has brought the world kiddy virtual-playland Moshi Monsters - fell by more than one-third to £22.19m …
Kat Hall, 14 Nov 2014
Planetoid crashes into primordial Earth

European Commission decides it won't have a science advisor after Greenpeace pressure

Yesterday seemed a great day for science in Europe, with the European Space Agency setting down its Philae lander on comet 67P - but even as this took place the European Commission quietly sent a rather different signal, as it hit "delete" on the role of its Chief Scientific Advisor. Since 2012 the EC Chief Scientific Advisor ( …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Nov 2014