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Oi ICANN, you want the keys to the internet throne room? Open up to Freedom of Info law

A revised version of the Defending Internet Freedom Act has been introduced to US Congress – and its contents are surprising. Last year, Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA) put forward legislation under the same name to cover the proposed transition of the critical IANA contract from the hands of the US government to an as-yet …

Forget black helicopters, FBI flying surveillance Cessnas over US cities. Warrant? What's that?

The FBI has confirmed it is using shell companies to fly surveillance aircraft with cellphone scanners and video cameras over US cities on a daily basis – and without the need for warrants. The aircraft were spotted over Baltimore last month monitoring the protests and riots in that city. An AP investigation has confirmed that …
Iain Thomson, 2 Jun 2015

Siri, dim the lights and warm us up: First gizmos for Apple HomeKit love-in emerge

The first smart-home products compatible with Apple's HomeKit remote-control software have been announced – and some are even available to buy. Most are smart-home gizmos already on the market but tweaked to be compatible with HomeKit, which allows iOS 8 iPhones, iPads and iPods to control stuff around the house wirelessly. …

Intel adopts 40Gb per SECOND USB-C plug for Thunderbolt 3.0

Computex 2015 Intel's sort of given up on the Thunderbolt interface - but it's also found a way to help increase its relevance by making it a superset of USB 3.1. Thunderbolt has always been fast, and has the nifty trick of connecting peripherals, carrying data and bringing video to monitors over a single cable — but it never took off. …
Threesome photo via Shutterstock

You'll never love an appliance like your old database

Huawei recently announced a database appliance. The Appliance for Large Database is based on the Chinese data centre usurper’s FusionServer RH8100 beast that targets RISC with a battery of Xeon Intel chips. The Huawei machine has been constructed for the newest version of SAP’s Business Suite, S/4HANA, which was announced …
A bus on fire in Whaddon

Nice 4G-for-plods demo, Samsung. Good luck actually selling it

Samsung has staked its claim towards being an integral part of the emergency services with a demonstration of its public safety solution - the first based on the 3GPP Rel.12 standard - using LTE technology. A post on the official Samsung blog explains how 80 devices were connected to a network to demonstrate PS-LTE, or Public …
Simon Rockman, 2 Jun 2015

Silicon Valley, episode 8: Larping, mogging and losing its way

Recap The first season of HBO's sharp, satirical Silicon Valley had just eight episodes. By the measure of last night's show, they should have stuck to that for season two rather than try to punch in an extra two episodes. White Hat/Black Hat felt like the episode pulled together from rejected ideas. And there weren't that many, so we …
The Bundestag in Berlin. Pic: Hernán Piñera

Bundestag hack origin still a mystery as techies pull out their hair

Two weeks on from the revelations of a serious cyber attack on the German Bundestag, insiders have told The Register that the tech department is “clueless” about what is going on. On Friday it emerged that data had almost certainly been stolen. As yet techies inside the Bundestag don’t know who is behind the attack – or even …

Apple: Relax, fanbois! We never meant to read your heart rate during wild wrist action

Apple – having tweaked how its Watch monitors a customer's heart rate – has been forced to explain the change, after fitness freaks freaked out about the gizmo's irregular tracking function. On Saturday, in an update on its support page, the iThing maker explained that Apple's wristjob "attempts to measure your heart rate every …
Kelly Fiveash, 31 May 2015
Kim Jong Un

NSA eggheads tried to bork Nork nukes with Stuxnet. It failed – report

The NSA tried to wreck North Korea's nuclear weapons lab using the centrifuge-knackering malware Stuxnet, and ultimately failed, multiple intelligence sources claim. US spies developed Stuxnet with the Israelis to attack and break Iran's nuke-fuel equipment from the mid to late 2000s. The software nasty was tweaked to thwart …
Iain Thomson, 29 May 2015
Bond tries to decipher is tailor

'I thought we were pals!' Belgium, Netherlands demand answers from Germany in spy bust-up

Belgium and the Netherlands have joined Austria and Luxembourg in getting really rather upset that German spies, er, spied on them. But what really as the Belgians worked up is that the information collected by the German intelligence agency (BND) was passed on to the NSA. On Friday, Belgium's justice ministry announced it is …
Jennifer Baker, 29 May 2015

'The Internet of Things is like the Cloud 8 years ago' ... Boss of Dell's new IoT biz spills beans

Dell has created a new "Internet of Things" division, and launched its first product: a $500 gateway designed for industry. "The Internet of Things is like the Cloud was eight years ago," the division's executive director Andy Rhodes told El Reg. What, overhyped? Ambiguous? An obscene cash bandwagon? "There is a lot of buzz," he …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 May 2015
Datacore CEO George Teixeira and chairman Ziya Aral

DataCore conducts its SANsymphony a little more... allegro

DataCore has updated its virtual SAN SANsymphony product, adding OpenStack and Veeam support and making it go faster. The PSP1 update to v10 SANsymphony was introduced last November. Six months later, a PSP2 update introduces: Support for OpenStack Cinder (block storage server) New Virtual Desktop Services – highly available/ …
Chris Mellor, 29 May 2015
Credit: Robert O'Neill Licence:

Fumbling Feds lose control of seized MegaUpload domains – to saucy vid slingers

Some of MegaUpload's file-sharing websites, once seized by the Feds, are now serving up porn and allegedly malware – after Uncle Sam's finest failed to renew one of its own domains. Netizens surfing to two of the five ex-MegaUpload sites are greeted with a page containing multiple links to malware downloads, a fake BBC article …
Shaun Nichols, 29 May 2015

.sucks-gate: How about listening to us the first two times, exasperated FTC tells ICANN

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has responded to questions over the legality of .sucks domain pricing with a three-page "I told you so" letter to domain name overseer ICANN. ICANN is upset that Vox Populi – the company in charge of .sucks – is charging people $2,500 (£1,700) to defensively register dot-sucks domains before …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 May 2015
Sundar Pichai talks Brillo and Weave and Google I/O 2015

Google puts Android on a diet, names it after the first thing it sees under the sink ... yes, Brillo

Google I/O Google is going after the Internet of Things with Android-based software aimed at powering a broad range of connected gizmos. We've heard rumors that the Chocolate Factory was planning a move into the IoT market, but Google platforms senior veep Sundar Pichai formally announced the effort at the Google I/O conference in San …
Neil McAllister, 28 May 2015
Rotary phone

FCC boss sketches out bargain broadband for hard-up Americans

Tom Wheeler, chairman of US internet watchdog the FCC, has asked the regulator's commissioners to offer broadband to poor Americans via the Lifeline program. The net-neutrality crusader has put forward a list of proposed updates to Lifeline, including the addition of broadband to what is right now just a phone-only program. …
Shaun Nichols, 28 May 2015
Funnel of cash. Credit: via SXC –

Chip chef Avago gobbles up Broadcom for $37 BEEEELLLION

As rumored this week, chip designer and supplier Avago is buying chip designer Broadcom in a cash-and-stock deal worth $37bn (£24bn). Broadcom is probably best known to Reg readers as the biz behind the BCM system-on-chips found in the Raspberry Pi and various other gizmos. The combined biz will rename itself Broadcom Ltd as it …
Chris Mellor, 28 May 2015
Indian riot

Indian music streaming service Ganaa hacked, site yanked offline

Service has been suspended, and passwords reset, following a hack against Indian music streaming service Ganaa. Ganaa detailed its response to the newly-discovered security breach in a series of updates to its official Twitter feed. We have temporarily removed access to our website and app as a vulnerability in one of our Gaana …
John Leyden, 28 May 2015

Health-snoop bangle vendor Fitbit hit with Jawbone sueball

Health device thingy maker Fitbit has been smacked by a sueball from competitor Jawbone, alleging it "systematically plundered employees" who stole Jawbone's intellectual property. The complaint filed yesterday (May 27) in the Superior Court of California said: "This case arises out of clandestine efforts of Fitbit to steal …
Kat Hall, 28 May 2015
Trotter's Independent Trading Co.

Your CAR is the 'ultimate mobile device', reckons Apple COO

Apple has admitted to eyeing up the automotive market, with chief operations man Jeff Williams describing cars as "the ultimate mobile device". Responding to a question about industries the mega cash-rich company is looking at, Williams told the Code Conference 2015: “The car is the ultimate mobile device,” adding, “We’re …
Kat Hall, 28 May 2015

Crafty fingering could let Apple Watch thieves raid your bank account

Updated Deft watch thieves could circumvent the biometric security in an Apple Watch to empty your bank account. The Apple Watch uses the heart rate monitor to tell when it has been taken off your wrist. This locks the watch so that you need to enter a PIN to use the watch again, but means you don’t have to enter a PIN every time you do …
Simon Rockman, 28 May 2015
Terminator head

Cisco predicts Rise Of The Machines in new networking index

The Internet of Junk Things isn't going to overwhelm the Internet's capacity any time soon, according to Cisco's rolling Visual Networking Index (VNI) report. What the IoT will do, if Cisco's got its numbers right, is account for the bulk of new connections to the Internet in the next five years, suggesting that The Borg doesn't …

Fortinet rides to troubled Meru's rescue

Troubled WLAN vendor Meru Networks has found a rescuer in security vendor Fortinet, which is buying the company for US$44 million. The acquisition will bring Meru's wireless SDN capabilities alongside Fortinet's core, edge and access security portfolio, Meru says in this canned statement. Meru has been on a long downward …

This $199 home air-quality gizmo will tell you to VOC right off

Pic "Air. It's all around you. Where you live. Where you work. Where you sleep. But what's really in it?" So begins the video outlining an exciting new product, the Awair, that against all probability is actually a real thing, rather than a brilliantly executed spoof. Pronounced "aware" but with the word "air" at the end, this …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 May 2015

Nest rival: Smartmobes will decide who survives the Internet of Stuff war

Interview It's almost impossible to talk to anyone about the internet of things right now without them drawing some kind of connection to the Nest smart thermostat. When we spoke to the CEO of August Smart Lock, he talked about integrating with Nest. The general manager of Sengled USA – a company making smart lightbulbs – likewise. The …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 May 2015

Aye-aye Eyeo, go safely on your way-o, says German judge

A Munich court ruled on Wednesday (May 27) that there was nothing illegal about the activities of Eyeo, owner of Adblock Plus. For the advert blocking toolmaker, this is the second win in as many months. German broadcasters RTL Interactive and ProSiebenSat1, claimed that users should not be able to block all ads on their …
Jennifer Baker, 27 May 2015
David Cameron

EU net neutrality could kneecap the Tories' opt-out pr0n filter plans

David Cameron’s plans to treat us all like children unless we opt out looks likely to be scuppered by new EU rules on net neutrality. Two years ago the PM vowed to stop children stumbling across online pornography by making parental filters the default standard for internet service providers (ISPs). Sky Broadband introduced its …
Jennifer Baker, 27 May 2015

Swarm of Apple iRobots released to map interior of Cupertino HQ

An indoor mapping project at Apple has filled the halls of its Cupertino headquarters with autonomous cartographer droids. Sources tell 9to5Mac that "the company has let loose autonomous robots with iBeacon sensors, similar in size to iRobot’s Roomba vacuum cleaners, to collect data for its indoor mapping project." While …
The US White House. Pic: Roman Boed

White House forced to wade into Oracle vs Google Java bickerfest

Update The Obama administration is backing Oracle in its long-running legal battle against Google over the Chocolate Factory's alleged infringement of Java copyrights. Oracle brought the case against Google in 2012, claiming it had breached copyright in its Java software when creating its Android mobile operating system. Google …
Kat Hall, 27 May 2015
LLCD laser space broadband

Interplanetary Internet about as useful as flying pigs says Vint Cerf

Boffins that want to see Internet protocols extend to outer space – the so-called “Interplanetary Internet” – need to prove they're offering something useful, according to one of the father-figures of the Earth-bound Internet. Vint Cerf, who has taken an interest in beyond-Earth applications for the Internet protocol stack since …

HP to buy ConteXtream for SDN/NFV top-up

HP is looking to beef up its service provider software-defined networking (SDN) footprint, with the acquisition of Comcast and Verizon-backed ConteXtream. With SDN looking increasingly bedded down in the data centre, the carrier market is becoming the next battleground, with everyone from startups to big names looking for places …

AT&T, Verizon and pals eat own head in effort to kill off net neutrality

Lobbying group USTelecom – AT&T, Verizon etc – has filed a petition against itself in an effort to prevent new net neutrality rules from taking effect. Demonstrating that when it comes to net neutrality, the telco industry loves nothing more than some self-serving hypocrisy, the group wrote in its petition [PDF]: "Unlike all of …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 May 2015

Let it go, let it go: How global DNS could survive in the frozen lands outside US control

The plan to move control of the top-level of the internet from the US government to California non-profit ICANN has received broad approval following a month-long public comment period. The group responsible for guiding the fate of the "names" aspect of the critical IANA contract – the bit that oversees the global DNS – has …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 May 2015

There's a Moose loose aboot this hoose: Linux worm hijacks Twitter feeds for spam slinging

ESET researchers Olivier Bilodeau and Thomas Dupuy have found malware capable of compromising routers and embedded devices, seizing control of social networking accounts, and booting out competitors. The duo report the Moose malware exploits weak login credentials in the networking gear, and does not require vulnerabilities to …
Darren Pauli, 26 May 2015
Monty Python foot UHDTV

Pavegen: The Company that can't make energy out of crowds tries to make money out of them

A company selling floor tiles which extract tiny, pointless amounts of energy from crowds walking across them is seeking fresh investment through the medium of crowdfunding. The company in question is Pavegen, which we've covered before. The firm is the brainchild of Laurence Kemball-Cook, who describes himself in a press …
Lewis Page, 26 May 2015
Snail photo Jurgen Schoner CC wikimedia

Web tracking puts lead in your saddlebags, finds Mozilla study

You already know that too many tracking cookies will slow Web page loading down to a crawl. Now, a study by Mozilla and Columbia University quantifies the problem. According to Columbia's Georgios Kontaxis and Mozilla's Monica Chew, spiking the excessive load of extraneous connections on the Alexa top 200 news sites can improve …
Graph of US dollar going up CC 2.0

Charter Comms to acquire Time Warner for US$55bn: lotsa reports

Comcast may have given up trying to acquire Time Warner Cable, but junior US telco Charter now looks set to swoop with a deal of its own. Comcast spent the better part of a year trying to spend the better part of US$45bn to acquire Time Warner, but the deal collapsed beneath the weight of regulator discomfort and industry …
Simon Sharwood, 25 May 2015

Sniffing and sharing Wi-Fi passwords? There's an app for that!

China's internet services aren't stellar, which is why the nation's State Council recently decided to spend US$182bn on network construction in an effort to speed up local connections. While Chinese citizens wait for all that to happen, plenty are instead turning to an app called Wi-Fi Skeleton Key that collects credentials for …
Simon Sharwood, 25 May 2015
Life of Brian

Internet Society of Australia changes name to Internet Australia

The Internet Society of Australia has changed its name to Internet Australia, but kept the name Internet Society of Australia for official purposes. The body's president, George Fong, says the change of name “is designed to give the Society a more contemporary image in keeping with the board’s determination to take a higher …
Simon Sharwood, 24 May 2015

Google patents DEVIL TOY which will BRAINWASH KIDS

A Google patent uncovered by tech law firm SmartUp seems to describe a toy that will look at and talk to your kids, then update a remote media device, depending upon the child's feedback. The inventor of the evil robot is named as Richard Wayne DeVaul, whose job title is "director of rapid evaluation and mad science" at Google X …

What are cellphone networks blabbing about you to the Feds? A US senator wants to know

US Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) wants America's mobile networks to reveal the types of customer information they share with Uncle Sam. The carriers publish "transparency" reports detailing how many demands for sensitive information they receive from the governments, and how many they comply with – but this is not enough for …
Shaun Nichols, 22 May 2015