Kieren McCarthy

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Would you believe it? The Museum of Failure contains quite a few pieces of technology

If you work in Silicon Valley, you might want to look away now. Because one day your work may well feature in the Museum of Failure. Created by organizational psychologist Samuel West and due to open in Sweden in June, the museum celebrates the screw-ups, the well-intentioned but poorly considered, and the outright idiotic. …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Apr 2017
Bob and Doug McKenzie of Canada

Canada says yes to net neutrality – and no to Trump advisor, eh?

Canada's comms watchdog has come out strongly in favor of net neutrality – despite efforts by one of the Trump Administration's key telecoms advisors to tip the scales in the other direction. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ruling on Thursday extends the Canadian government's protections …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Apr 2017

Web celeb product whores told to put on the red light – or else

America's trade watchdog has warned more than 90 celebrities that they need to disclose when they are paid to promote a product – or risk facing an investigation. Among the red-faced celebs: David and Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Lopez, actresses Shay Mitchell and Vanessa Hudgens, and most of the Kardashian clan – Kourtney, her …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Apr 2017

Trump's self-imposed cybersecurity deadline is up: What we got?

Analysis On January 6, president-elect Donald Trump had a meeting with the heads of the intelligence services and came out with one action point: cybersecurity. "Whether it is our government, organizations, associations or businesses we need to aggressively combat and stop cyberattacks," an official statement read. "I will appoint a …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Apr 2017

We're spying on you for your own protection, says NSA, FBI

A new factsheet by the NSA and FBI has laid bare ludicrous contradictions in how US intelligence agencies choose to interpret a law designed to prevent spying on American citizens, but which they use to achieve exactly that end. While noting that the law specifically bans the gathering of information on US citizens, it then …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Apr 2017

Silicon Valley tech CEO admits beating software engineer wife, offered just 13 days in the clink

The CEO of a Silicon Valley startup captured on video beating his wife and threatening to kill her is, due to an offered plea deal, likely to spend less than 30 days behind bars to avoid being deported. His wife is furious about the arrangement, claiming that she had been cheated by the system and the charge of "offensive …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Apr 2017

Samsung's Shixby: Reviewers unimpressed with S8 digital assistant

It's not entirely clear why Samsung hyped up its new digital assistant earlier this year. Its answer to Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, Amazon's Alexa and Google's, um, Google Assistant was to be called Bixby. And it would, according to Samsung Mobile CTO and Bixby architect Injong Rhee, be an "interface revolution." Well …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Apr 2017
Russian hacking

That apple.com link you clicked on? Yeah, it's actually Russian

Click this link (don't fret, nothing malicious). Chances are your browser displays "apple.com" in the address bar. What about this one? Goes to "epic.com," right? Wrong. They are in fact carefully crafted but entirely legitimate domains in non-English languages that are designed to look exactly the same as common English words …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Apr 2017

'Nobody's got to use the internet,' argues idiot congressman in row over ISP privacy rules

Faced with an angry citizen asking why he had voted away their online privacy rights, US House Rep Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) had a remarkable answer: you don't have to use the internet if you don't like it. Speaking at a town hall meeting in Wisconsin on Friday, the Republican legislator was asked about his vote to kill off …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Apr 2017

'Tech troll' sues EFF to silence 'Stupid Patent of the Month' blog. Now the EFF sues back

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is countersuing a patent troll that wants its name removed from a "stupid patent of the month" blog post. Global Equity Management (SA) Pty Ltd (GEMSA) is incorporated in Australia and exists only to bring patent litigation, making it "a classic patent troll," the EFF claims. GEMSA appeared …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Apr 2017

Alert: Using a web ad blocker may identify you – to advertisers

The recent explosion in people installing ad blockers for their browsers may have an ironic side effect: identifying them to advertisers. French researchers digging into online privacy issues have built on a 2010 study by the EFF that used people's browser configurations to identify individuals. The researchers account for the …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Apr 2017

Back to the Future 2: Gasp! America's trade watchdog discovers the risks of 'free' movies

You may want to sit down for this. Did you know that movie files downloaded for free from the internet may contain malware? You did? Well it was news to US trade watchdog the FTC's assistant director Will Maxson, who published a whole blog post about this shocking revelation on Thursday. Will was also shocked to discover it …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Apr 2017

Amazon touts Echo voice-recog tech to world's gizmo makers

In an effort to cement its position in the voice recognition market, Amazon has opened up its Alexa technology to third parties. The e-retailer is offering its seven-microphone array and voice processing tech to hardware makers who want to include voice activation in their products, but don't want to spend the enormous time …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Apr 2017

Back to the future: Honda's new electric car can go an incredible 80 miles!

Honda's new electric car, the Clarity, is garnering a lot of attention – for all the wrong reasons. Available later this year, the car is expected to cost the same as the new Chevy Bolt and upcoming Tesla Model 3, but will have just a third of their ranges, managing only 80 miles on a full charge. While that would have been …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Apr 2017

Euro Patent Office reforms hit another stumbling block: Reality

Analysis When he's not ignoring national laws and threatening employees, the president of the European Patent Office (EPO), Benoit Battistelli, is on a crusade to make things work faster. Against an ever-more unhappy background of EPO staff and patent examiners, Battistelli has for several years put forward the same defence: he is …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Apr 2017
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Big Internet warns FCC's Pai: We will fight you all the way on net neutrality

The lobbying group for Big Internet – Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter et al – has warned the chair of US comms watchdog the FCC that it will fight him on efforts to get rid of net neutrality rules. In a summary [PDF] of a conversation held this week between Commissioner Ajit Pai and the Internet Association – produced by IA …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Apr 2017

No more IP addresses for countries that shut down internet access

Governments that cut off internet access to their citizens could find themselves refused new IP addresses under a proposal put through one of the five global IP allocation organizations. The suggested clampdown will be considered at the next meeting of internet registry Afrinic in Kenya in June: Afrinic is in charge of …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Apr 2017

Official science we knew all along: Facebook makes you sad :-(

Researchers claim to have evidence of what many of us have long since suspected: Facebook makes you sad. There is no shortage of studies that point to the negative impact of social media on people's overall well-being – some or most of which could easily be left in the "Luddite" box – but Holly Shakya from the University of …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Apr 2017

China emerges as digital rights champion with new info privacy law

China plans to impose the world's strictest digital privacy rights rules against large corporations like Facebook and Google by requiring them to obtain users' permission before sending any data on them outside the country. The draft rules were put out for public comment on Tuesday and would oblige any company that transfers …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Apr 2017

Apple wets its pants over Swatch ad tagline

Apple's lawyers have got their knickers in a twist over an ad campaign by outdated watch company Swatch. The hapless legal-beagles are unhappy about use of the phrase "Tick Different" on a new ad for Swatch's Bellamy range of watches, which include NFC (near-field communication) chips and work with Visa to let you pay for …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Apr 2017
Disgusted man holds his hand up to obscure his view. Pic via Shutterstock

Finally a reason not to bother with IPv6: Uh, security concerns...?

For all those sysadmins tired of having to make excuses for why they haven't moved to IPv6, worry no more: the new protocol brings with it the risk of network infiltration. That's according to NATO's Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, which has published a research paper [PDF] claiming it is possible to set up …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Apr 2017

FCC kills plan to allow phone calls on planes – good idea or terrible?

Poll Ajit Pai, chair of US comms watchdog the FCC, has unilaterally decided that no one wants to make cellphone calls on planes, and he killed off a 2013 proposal by the regulator to potentially allow them. In a statement Monday, Pai stated: "I stand with airline pilots, flight attendants, and America's flying public against the …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Apr 2017

Internet Society tells G20 nations: The web must be fully encrypted

The Internet Society has called for the full encryption of the internet, decrying the fact that securing the digital world has increasingly become associated with restricting access to law enforcement. In a blog post aimed at the leaders of the G20 economies, ISOC CEO Kathryn Brown argues that the digital economy "will only …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Apr 2017

Ubuntu UNITY is GNOME-MORE: 'One Linux' dream of phone, slab, desktop UI axed

Ubuntu's dream of a single Linux platform across all your devices has died, swiftly, following a single gunshot to the head. Holding the revolver: founder of Ubuntu, Mark Shuttleworth. Shuttleworth has shocked and surprised the open source community, even those who were critics of the Unity effort that was started six years …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Apr 2017

FCC Commish: Hey, don't look at me – Congress should sort out net neutrality mess

FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly has said US Congress will have to resolve the tricky question of net neutrality. "I've always said that anytime Congress can provide us direction and answer the question of how they would like the commission to implement something, then I am totally supportive," he told legal industry watchers …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Apr 2017

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