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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
arrow pointing up

Rackspace posts double-digit jump in sales and profits

Cloud purveyor Rackspace clocked up sales of $1.79bn (£1.16bn) for its full-year 2014, a 17 per cent increase on 2013, while net income rose 28 per cent to $110m (£73.1m). Fourth-quarter net income at the cloudy firm was particularly strong, increasing 80 per cent to $37m (£24m) on revenue up 16 per cent to $472m (£306m). But …
Kat Hall, 18 Feb 2015

HP Split: Naming the big dogs for new-look giant

Exclusive More pieces of HP’s management puzzle are being slotted into place at a country and regional level, ahead of the major split in the corporation planned for October. As world + dog knows, the PC and print businesses are to separate from the rest of the organisation to create HP Inc, with all other divisions falling under Hewlett …
Paul Kunert, 18 Feb 2015

EU ministers hold Big Meeting on Big Data. But how will they get you to hand it over?

Analysis Europe’s Industry and Internal Market Ministers have been told to have a good long think about Big Data before showing up to their next meeting in Brussels on 2 March. The “theme” of the next Competitiveness council meeting is “Unlocking Europe's digital potential: faster and wider innovation through open, networked and data- …
Jennifer Baker, 18 Feb 2015
© Copyright Anthony O'Neil and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Vodafone didn't have a £6bn tax bill. Sort yourselves out, Lefties

Worstall on Wednesday I find myself watching current politics completely open-mouthed in amazement. The number of what are, if we are to be unkind about it, simply outright lies that have become common truths astonishes me. I refer, of course, to the latest revelations of the tax affairs of the nation. The latest round is those revelations from HSBC' …
Tim Worstall, 18 Feb 2015
New homepage of Gov.uk, credit screengrab gov.uk

Inside GOV.UK: 'CHAOS' and 'NIGHTMARE' as trendy Cabinet Office wrecked govt websites

Exclusive Poor design and chaotic management by the supposedly crack team at the Cabinet Office's Government Digital Service (GDS) left huge swathes of the British government in disarray, internal documents seen by the Register reveal. The documents confirm that GDS knew its flagship initiative to move all government websites under one …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Feb 2015
School of Rock

IT knowledge is as important as Maths, says UK.gov

Digital literacy must become a core subject in schools – just like maths – in order to mitigate the effects of mass job automation, a House of Lords report has warned. The Digital Skills Committee said the "UK is at a tipping point" in addressing its "significant digital skills shortage". It said this was particularly important …
Kat Hall, 18 Feb 2015
Parliament in the clouds

UK.gov: Just one in three G Cloud suppliers have won ANY business

The majority of tech suppliers on G Cloud haven’t seen a penny of taxpayers cash – not a bean – according to official figures on government spending. The sixth iteration of G Cloud is now live on the Digital Marketplace, introduced at the start of this month with 1,453 companies touting for business, up 15 per cent on the …
Paul Kunert, 18 Feb 2015

SCREW YOU, BRITS: We're going through with UK independence ANYWAY – Scotland

Despite the outcome of last year's referendum on Scottish independence – namely, keeping the union together – Scotland's politicians have declared independence from the UK ... online. On Tuesday, the Scottish Government shifted its internet presence from 'scotland.gov.uk' to 'gov.scot', redirecting the old domain to its new home …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Feb 2015

Snapchat wants $19 BEEELLION for your selfies

Photo-sharing service Snapchat is reportedly seeking funding that would value the company at US$19bn. A report from Bloomberg cites sources familiar in claiming that the disappearing pic specialist wants to raise $500m in funding based on the hefty $19bn valuation. That round of funding would, to say the least, represent a …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Feb 2015
Privacy image

Australia's PM says data retention laws think of the children

Australia's Federal Government, and its agencies, are working to drum up political support for the nation's controversial data retention legislation. Prime minister Tony Abbott offered favoured outlets early access to a speech to child protection charity Bravehearts, in which he said the data retention regime is needed to battle …
Three  UK Passports

Home Office wins appeal against £224m e-Borders payout

The UK Home Office has won an appeal against US defence giant Raytheon to award the company £224m after cancelling its £750m e-Borders contract. The company was engaged by the Home Office in 2007 to design the e-Borders technology system. However, by 2010 the Home Office had terminated the contract on that grounds that key …
Kat Hall, 17 Feb 2015

First HSBC, now the ENTIRE PUBLIC SECTOR dodges tax

Exclusive The public sector is committing millions of pounds of tax fraud by incorrectly claiming money back on IT services which are not VAT recoverable. Under VAT rules, government bodies can claim back 20 per cent of the price of IT services that are managed by a large provider, as well as bespoke custom-made software. Money spent on …
Kat Hall, 17 Feb 2015
GCHQ road sign

Speak your brains on surveillance, despots. No we don't mean Five Eyes

Dutch Member of European Parliament, Marietje Schaake, has asked the public for input into her report on surveillance and human rights. Anyone with even a vague interest in “the impact of intrusion and surveillance systems on human rights in third countries” is invited to send their thoughts to marietje.schaake-office@ep.europa. …
Jennifer Baker, 17 Feb 2015

Gartner to CIOs: Go on, SPEND some CASH on ROBOTS 'n' 'Things'

CIOs in the UK and Ireland are bullish on “digitalisation” of their businesses as spending returns. That’s according to Gartner, who ranked so-called digitalisation third in the list of CIO’s spending priorities in the UK and Ireland. It’s up from sixth place the year before, and a bigger priority here in the UK than for CIOs …
Gavin Clarke, 17 Feb 2015

Fight back against illegal GCHQ spying with PAPERWORK!

Privacy International (PI) is calling on people to sign up to be part of a mass request for confirmation they have been spied on by Five Eyes spy agencies and to demand the removal of captured information. Would-be signatories are being asked to submit their name and email address to the organisation, which will then pass them …
Darren Pauli, 17 Feb 2015
Mars

Boffins baffled by the glowing 'plumes' of MARS

A group of amateur astronomers has discovered a tricky conundrum for the professionals, documenting atmospheric plumes - or something that looks uncannily like them - above Mars... where they should not occur. The observations, made in March 2012 and written up for Nature here (PDF), found plumes in the Red Planet's atmosphere …

Juniper CEO axed after SALES FAIL: report

When former Juniper CEO Shaygan Kheradpir departed the company in November 2014, the company cited customer negotiations as the reason. Ostensibly voluntary, Kheradpir's departure looked from the outside as if he was pushed rather than jumping. Juniper's statement merely said the board and Kheradpir had “different perspectives” …
Intel president Renee James

Intel President Renée James says Chipzilla's diversity efforts are moving too slowly

Intel president Renée James has taken the company's diversity message to India, saying that women's challenges to reaching the C-level are the same on the subcontinent as they are in the USA. In an interview with The Economic Times' Corporate Dossier columnist, James said things hadn't changed in her 25-year career, and that …

Apple LIGHTSABERS to feature in The Force Awakens

Apple design supremo Jony Ive met Star Wars: The Force Awakens director at a dinner party and offered him some thoughts on lightsaber design that made it into the forthcoming flick. So says The New Yorker in a profile of Ive. The story says “Ive once sat next to J. J. Abrams at a boozy dinner party in New York, and made what …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Feb 2015