Business > More stories

Hacked US OPM boss: We'll fix our IT security – just give us $21 million

The boss of the US government's thoroughly ransacked Office of Personnel Management has – rightly – come in for a rough ride from members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Politicians on both sides of the trenches tore strips off the lamentable state of security in the agency, which was raided by hackers …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jun 2015

News website deserves a slap for its hate-filled commentards, say 'ooman rights beaks

+Comment Fining a news website for offensive article comments posted by its readers is not a violation of the freedom of expression, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday. Delfi, one of the largest news websites in Estonia, had argued that the authorities were wrong to hold it accountable for rather rude user-submitted …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Jun 2015

When your ISP flouts net neutrality rules, here's who you should contact

America's broadband watchdog the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has named its first net neutrality ombudsperson – and she'll be your first point of call when your ISP breaks the new rules. Parul Desai has been the FCC's director of consumer engagement for the past eight months, and before that she worked in the FCC's …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Jun 2015

Pirate Party founder: I wanna turn news into a series of three-line viral gobbets

Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge* has declared war on “oldmedia”, which he spells as one word. His Falconwing News service will pump out three-sentence “stories” scraped from real news sources and posted as images. Advertisers will be able to inject their ads into this stream. He vows that he’ll pay writers “better” than “ …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jun 2015

Apple no-pay-for-plays streaming risks indie boycott

The independent music sector may opt-out of Apple Music – at least for its launch – because of the decision by the $731bn-valued giant to pay musicians and composers the big fat round sum of $0 for music streamed during the three-month trial period. Allied to anxieties about cash flow, it means Apple Music could roll out on June …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jun 2015
Splash! by Nino Barbieri licensed under CC 3.0 Unported

EU MEPs accept lonely Pirate's copyright report – and water it down

The European Parliament’s legal committee on Tuesday approved a non-legislative and non-binding report by Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda by a majority of 23-2 - albeit with several substantial amendments. Reda's report examines the EU’s current copyright law, the so-called Infosec Directive from 2001. A new draft directive is …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Jun 2015

Go fac' yourselves: US privacy bods walk out of visage recog talks

Talks to establish a code of conduct for the commercial use of facial recognition technology in the US have collapsed, following the withdrawal of privacy advocates who claimed industry representatives weren't cooperating. The talks, which began in February 2014, were organised by the National Telecommunication and Information …
Google faces antitrust charges in the European Union

Google on Google: The carefully collated anti-trust truth

Google doesn’t always take the threat of anti-trust charges too seriously. After the Wall Street Journal implied that the FTC opted for less aggressive action against Google because of political pressure, Google responded with references to a laughing baby, and by personally attacking the newspaper’s owner. After all, when you’ …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jun 2015
Rotten apple. Pic: Shutterstock (http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-29447929/stock-photo-a-rotten-apple-on-a-white-background.html)

Apple seeks fawning 'journalists' for in-house 'news' self pluggery

Apple is hiring journos for its latest Apple News venture, a move that will presumably mean it is bringing some of the mountains of breathless product announcement coverage in-house. According to a job advert, Apple is looking for editors to help identify and deliver "the best in breaking national, global, and local news". The …
Kat Hall, 16 Jun 2015
Ashlee Vance, Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is shaping our Future

'It’s irrelevant whether Elon Musk is a dick or not. At least he’s trying to make things'

Interview Ex-Reg man Ashlee Vance has written a warts-and-all bio of Elon Musk. We quizzed him on how he did it – and why. Reg: This book has an interesting genesis – Musk wouldn’t co-operate, so you decided to do it anyway. Then he agreed to interviews... Vance: I probably benefited from Elon turning me down, because it totally pissed …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jun 2015
Dread Pirate Roberts

EU legal eagles to vote on lonely pirate Reda's copyright report

The legal affairs committee of the European Parliament will vote today on Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda’s controversial copyright report. The report is not legislatively binding, but will contribute to the debate surrounding forthcoming copyright reforms. A new draft law is expected to be proposed by Digi Commissioner Gunther "H- …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Jun 2015
Vans trainers. Pic: Alex, Flickr

Zionists stole my SHOE, claims Muslim campaigner

Sometimes there's only one rational explanation for not finding your shoe: obviously, Zionists working within a global conspiracy must have taken it. At least this was the explanation put forward by Asghar Bukhari, founder of lobby group the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, on a Facebook rant (now seemingly not there any more) …
Kat Hall, 16 Jun 2015
Crypto fingers

Westpac buys stake in Canberra crypto king QuintessenceLabs

Australian banking goliath Westpac will become a substantial stakeholder in Canberra based QuintessenceLabs (QLabs) and use outfit's quantum key distribution technology for its internal infrastructure. QLabs commercialises research from the Australian National University to produce quantum key distribution (QKD) and random key …
Darren Pauli, 16 Jun 2015
White Hat for Hackers by Zeevveez, Flickr under CC2.0

Australia needs MOAR L33T WHITE HATZ, says Federal Police

Australia needs a bunch more experts in disciplines you're barely allowed to discuss here, according to the Australian Federal Police. AFP cyber crime commander David McLean told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's TV program 730 that “this April alone there was over 3,500 reports from people around Australia in relation …

Sunday Times fires off copyright complaint at Snowden story critics

The Sunday Times has apparently sent a copyright complaint to critics of its article that claimed British and American overseas spies have had their covers blown by Edward Snowden. The London-based newspaper unquestioningly parroted the UK government's spin at the weekend, claiming that classified files obtained by the NSA …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jun 2015

Silicon Valley season closer: Would you like fried servers with that?

Recap The final episode of season two of Silicon Valley was a blast: almost literally. The HBO show has already been picked up for a third season, but right up to the last second, this fun and fast-paced episode had you wondering whether the whole thing was going down to melt down into nothing but hot metal and charred Ethernet cables …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jun 2015

Canada to ICANN in dot-sucks dot-rumble: Take off, you hoser!

The Canadian government has responded to a request from domain-name overseer ICANN about the .sucks top-level domain – by shaking its head and sending a form letter. Two months ago, prodded heavily by intellectual property lawyers infuriated that the dot-sucks registry was charging trademark holders $2,500 for .sucks domains and …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jun 2015
The European flag

Would EU exit 'stuff' the UK? Tech policy boss gets diplomatic

One of the official cheerleaders of Europe’s digital industry said he couldn’t believe the UK would be mad enough to vote itself out of Europe in the upcoming EU referendum, and leave itself effectively stuffed as a tech power. OK, John Higgins, former intellect boss and now director general of DigitalEurope, was far more …
Joe Fay, 15 Jun 2015
Edward Snowden

'Snowden risked lives' fearfest story prompts sceptical sneers

Analysis A row has broken out over claims that Russian and Chinese have reportedly decrypted files of NSA leaker Edward Snowden, identifying British and US secret agents in the process. The Sunday Times used unnamed UK government and intel agency officials1 to support a story that MI6 has withdrawn agents from overseas operations in …
John Leyden, 15 Jun 2015

Grumpy EU ministers agree shaky pact on new data protection law

EU states' justice ministers seemed to be competing to sound the most disappointed as they grudgingly agreed to move forward on a new data protection law. Although a compromise general approach was reached, most countries found fault with the text of the proposed General Data Protection Regulation – quite a feat considering the …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Jun 2015
slice of pizza

Revenue up 62 per cent, as Redcentric posts bumper post-buy results

Managed services biz Redcentric reported a significant increase in sales and profits for its full-year 2015 results, as the firm's acquisition strategy began to bear fruit. The Yorkshire outfit posted an increase in revenue of 62 per cent to £94.3m, compared with 2014. Profits rose to £8m from £1.8m for the same period. The …
Kat Hall, 15 Jun 2015
Data Centre

EU steps (marginally, tentatively) towards new data protection law

European ministers are expected to reach some sort of agreement on new data protection laws later today, according to reports and sources, although discussions before a final decision are set to continue for months yet. Justice and Home Affairs ministers from across the EU are meeting Monday in Luxembourg and the main item on …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Jun 2015
Elephant

'Right to be forgotten' applies WORLDWIDE, thunders Parisian court

France’s data protection watchdog has ordered Google to de-link outdated and irrelevant information from its Google.com domain within two weeks or face a fine, as the “right to be forgotten” issue once again comes to the fore. Just over a year ago the European Court of Justice ruled that the search giant must remove links to a …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Jun 2015

US mega-hack: White House orders govt IT to do what it should have done in the first place

In response to this week's data breach at the US Office of Personnel Management, the White House has ordered federal agencies to immediately deploy state-of-the-art anti-hacker defenses – things like installing security patches, and not giving everyone the admin password. This groundbreaking cyber-edict comes after dossiers …
Chris Williams, 13 Jun 2015

How much info did hackers steal on US spies? Try all of it

Analysis If the latest reports are true and Chinese hackers have managed to pilfer as much data about US government employees in sensitive positions as is thought, the Obama administration may be headed for a serious intelligence crisis. According to an Associated Press report on Friday, hackers linked to China may have compromised …
Neil McAllister, 13 Jun 2015

Dossiers on US spies, military snatched in 'SECOND govt data leak'

A second data breach at the US Office of Personnel Management has compromised even more sensitive information about government employees than the first breach that was revealed earlier this week, sources claim. It's possible at least 14 million Americans have chapter and verse on their lives leaked, we're told. The Associated …
Neil McAllister, 12 Jun 2015
Use google.com button

Google – you DO control your search results, thunders Canadian court

A Canadian court has rejected Google's claim that it can't control its own search engine, and concluded that the web giant can in fact rein in its vast army of machines. The case – Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Google Inc., 2015 BCCA 265 – was brought by network equipment manufacturer Equustek. It revolves around the de-listing of …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jun 2015
empty_box

Not Boxing clever: non-paying customers still hold sway

File sharer Box’s burst into profitability is still being delayed (for quarter after quarter) by its massive, heavy boat anchor of pay-nothing customers. First-quarter revenues rose 45 per cent from a year ago to $65.6m, beating Wall Street estimates, while the net loss deepened 23 per cent from a year ago to $47.3m. Revenue …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jun 2015
india

Cheaper Apple iStuff? Foxconn eyes costs-busting Indian move

Taiwanese multinational and Apple device manufacturer Hon Hai/Foxconn is planning to expand into India, opening roughly ten factories and date centres by 2020, according to Indian government officials. Reuters reports the touted move may lower prices in "the world's third largest smartphone market where [Apple] trails Samsung …
£10 notes. Pic: Howard Lake

Crossroads Systems takes wrong turn. Is it running out of cash?

Comment It isn’t pretty watching this. Poor beleaguered archival product vendor Crossroads Systems reported even worse results for its second quarter than its dire first quarter, as well as a diminishing cash balance. Crossroads_Q2cy2015 Crossroads Systems quarterly revenue and net income. Moving average trendlines added. Crossroads …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jun 2015

'Nothing to see here', says ECJ as Safe Harbour opinion delayed

Sources at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) have denied there's a conspiracy behind the publication delay of a crucial opinion in the Europe v Facebook case. The ECJ attorney general (AG) was due to give his opinion on 24 June, a decision which could potentially bring down the Safe Harbour dataflow agreement between the EU …
Jennifer Baker, 12 Jun 2015
Smart Fortwo iPhone app

Don't panic. Stupid smart meters are still 50 YEARS away

The government's hated £11bn smart meters project will not be complete for another 50 years, stats from the Department of Energy and Climate Change indicate. According to government figures for the first quarter of 2015, around 211,700 smart meters were installed, bringing the total up to 1,054,800. Earlier this year a report …
Kat Hall, 12 Jun 2015

ECJ: Hey Belgian telcos - don't bother serving the huddled masses

European governments cannot force mobile providers to pay for providing a minimum service to disadvantaged people, the European Court of Justice has ruled. The Universal Service Directive requires EU countries to make basic communication services “such as making a phone call from a fixed location at an affordable price or …
Jennifer Baker, 12 Jun 2015
Royal coat of arms on a court building. Pic: Elliott Brown

Use snooped data in court? Nah, says UK.gov - folk might be cleared

British government snoops claimed it was too much hassle for them to use intercepted communications data in court proceedings because the accused could use the info to prove their innocence, it has emerged. Police officers, spies and local council bin inspectors were all asked for their views of Blighty's surveillance laws as …
Gareth Corfield, 12 Jun 2015
USS Enterprise in Task Force One

US Navy wants 0-day intelligence to develop weaponware

In the Navy, the Village People sang, you can sail the seven seas and live a life of ease. And now you can also work with third parties to identify and exploit 0-day flaws in common commercial software. That Naval job is revealed in a fascinating solicitation for a provider capable of reporting new flaws and developing …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jun 2015
Facepalming statue

Australia gets its site filter at LAST

Australia is to try the same whack-a-mole strategy to piracy that's failed in other countries, and let the content sector ask for court orders to block allegedly-infringing sites. Because neither the federal government nor the opposition can muster half-a-yard of clue-by-four between them, the bill isn't going to be subject to a …
Twitter for Mac New

Only good thing about Twitter CEO storm: 140 character limit gone

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo will leave the San Francisco-headquartered social network within days. Shares in Twitter soared nearly eight per cent on the news. The microblogging site said in a SEC filing, published in the past few minutes, that Costolo will leave as chief exec on July 1 and be replaced by Twitter cofounder Jack …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jun 2015
The doom that came to Atlantic City

FTC lunges at Kickstarter bloke who raised $120,000 – and delivered sweet FA

The FTC has brought its first lawsuit against a guy who bagged thousands of dollars from a Kickstarter campaign and failed to produce anything substantial. Erik Chevalier was accused of raising $120,000 in funds on Kickstarter with promise of developing a game called The Doom that Came to Atlantic City, but then allegedly used …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jun 2015

If hackers can spy on you all then so should we – US Senator logic

Following the cyber-attack during which dossiers on four million US government employees were stolen from Uncle Sam's servers, staggering out of the smoldering blast crater is Senator Richard Burr (R-NC). And he's not happy. In his soot-covered hand is a copy of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), and this week, he …
Iain Thomson, 11 Jun 2015
Marc Benioff of Salesforce. Pic: Techcrunch

Benioff's Bulging Benefits: Salesforce CEO handed massive pay cheque

Salesforce.com's chief executive has been handed a massive $39.9m (£25.7m) pay packet, despite objections from a number of major shareholders related to its modest record of profitability. Shareholders narrowly approved the package for Benioff and the six other directors, totalling $81.6m (£53m) in 2015. Dutch pension company …
Kat Hall, 11 Jun 2015
Amazon under a cloud

Commish snaps on rubber gloves, Amazon readies itself for antitrust probe

The European Commish has decided to prod about in Amazon’s contracts with publishers looking for nasty antitrusty behaviour. The Commission is concerned that the contracts, which force publishers to notify Amazon about more favourable terms and conditions with competitors, may make it more difficult for other ebook distributors …
Jennifer Baker, 11 Jun 2015
GCHQ Benhall doughnut aerial view

Indie review of UK surveillance laws: As you were, GCHQ

The response to multiple threats faced by the UK “depends on entrusting public bodies with the powers they need to identify suspects”, said David Anderson QC, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, in his long-awaited review of the country’s anti-terrorism laws, while giving GCHQ no reason to stop mass-surveillance. …