Kieren McCarthy

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed
key throw

Time to ditch the front door key? Nest's new wireless smart lock is surprisingly convenient

Review It's something we all do when we get home: rummage around in your pockets or bag, find your keys, identify the one you want and then stick it in your front door to gain access. If you are one of the roughly 28 per cent of households that have a security system, you then need to go punch in a code to turn the alarm off. It's …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Apr 2018
hands through the jail bars. Photo by shutterstock

British Crackas With Attitude chief gets two years in the cooler for CIA spymaster hack

The British teenager who was sufficiently talented and stupid to hack the webmail of the head of the CIA was today sent down for two years. Kane Gamble, who is now 18 but was 15 at the time of the attacks, blagged his way into the internet accounts of top American officials, including then-CIA chief John Brennan's AOL account …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Apr 2018
whoah

Apple's magical quality engineering strikes again: You may want to hold off that macOS High Sierra update...

An increasing number of Mac loyalists are complaining that the latest desktop operating system update from Apple is killing their computers. The 10.13.4 update for macOS High Sierra is recommended for all users, and was emitted at the end of March promising to "improve stability, performance, and security of your Mac." macos …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Apr 2018
reveal

Nominet drains mug of tea, leans back, calmly explains how to make Whois GDPR-compliant

The operator of the .uk domain-name registry has outlined the changes it plans to make to its Whois domain registration system to bring it in line with incoming European privacy legislation. Nominet ran a short one-month public comment period asking for feedback on a range of proposed changes to its current system and …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Apr 2018
boats

Facebook puts 1.5bn users on a boat from Ireland to California

Facebook is quietly changing its terms of service to shift 1.5 billion users away from Europe to the US while continuing to claim it wants to offer greater privacy protections. The change covers 70 per cent of its users – based in Africa, Asia, Australasia and Latin/South America – and effectively removes legal protections …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Apr 2018
An upset woman with an empty wallet

OK, this time it's for real: The last available IPv4 address block has gone

You may have heard this one before, but we have now really run out of public IPv4 address blocks. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority – the global overseers of network addresses – said it had run out of new addresses to dish out to regional internet registries (RIRs) in 2011. One of those RIRs, the Asia-Pacific Network …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Apr 2018
bs businessman

Facebook previews GDPR privacy tools and, yep, it's the same old BS

Comment Facebook has previewed its new privacy settings, developed to meet new European privacy legislation that comes into force next month. The social network is keen to promote the changes as evidence it is listening to concerns – from user and lawmakers – about how it gathers and sells private information, and argues that the new …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Apr 2018
Uncle Sam

US government weighs in on GDPR-Whois debacle, orders ICANN to go probe GoDaddy

The US government has waded into the omni-shambles that is the internet infrastructure industry's failed effort to comply with European privacy laws. Having tried to use its behind-the-scenes influence at a recent meeting of DNS overseer ICANN to drive decisions, the Department of Commerce's frustration had led to it going …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Apr 2018
lawyer ignoring

Supreme Court punts on Microsoft email seizure decision after Cloud Act passes US Congress

The US Supreme Court has dodged a critical legal question about the reach of America's courts in the internet era, deciding to drop a test case between Microsoft and the Department of Justice. In a decision [PDF] on Monday, the Justices decided that the case, in which Microsoft refused to hand over to the Feds emails held on …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Apr 2018
freak out

Net neutrality advocates freak out as lobbyists pull rug from California's draft net neutrality law

An effort to pass net neutrality legislation at the California state level is in doubt after an official analysis of the proposed bill recommend pulling out two key measures. Net neutrality advocates exploded when the analysis, written by the US state's Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications in Sacramento, …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Apr 2018
walled garden

Google to add extra Gmail security … by building a walled garden

Comment Google is planning to add several new security features to its ubiquitous email service, Gmail, but they will come with a cost – literally and figuratively. Among the new features reportedly under consideration are self-deleting emails and a new "confidentiality mode" that would prevent emails from being printed or forwarded …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Apr 2018

Whois is dead as Europe hands DNS overlord ICANN its arse

The Whois public database of domain name registration details is dead. In a letter [PDF] sent this week to DNS overseer ICANN, Europe's data protection authorities have effectively killed off the current service, noting that it breaks the law and so will be illegal come 25 May, when GDPR comes into force. The letter also has …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Apr 2018
demented

Apple leak: If you leak from Apple, we'll have you arrested, says Apple

Apple has gone full swivel-eyed, control-freak crazy on its own employees with a demented internal memo decrying information leaks. "In 2017, Apple caught 29 leakers. 12 of those were arrested," says the terror missive from Cupertino, ironically leaked to Bloomberg. "Among those were Apple employees, contractors and some …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Apr 2018
Someone taking a selfie outside LA

Super Cali's frickin' whiz kids no longer oppose us: Even though Facebook thought info law was quite atrocious

One day after Lt Commander (All Your) Data Mark Zuckerberg was lightly sautéed by US Congress over Facebook's fast and loose relationship with user privacy, the Silicon Valley giant has dropped its opposition to a proposed California data protection law. The California Consumer Privacy Act is a ballot proposition that will be …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Apr 2018
Someone in an Uber ride

Uber hid database hack from FTC while FTC probed Uber for an earlier database hack

Uber hid a database hack from America's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) while the very same watchdog was investigating Uber for a separate database hack, it was revealed on Thursday. The taxi app maker reached a settlement with the FTC in August 2017 after the biz allegedly "deceived consumers about its privacy and data …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Apr 2018
Still from Deadspin's montage of Sinclair news broadcasts

Civil war erupts at top of FCC over Sinclair's creepy grasp on US telly

Vid Internecine fights at America's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have broken out in public at an industry event in Las Vegas. In a series of speeches given by four of the watchdog's five commissioners at the National Association of Broadcasters annual event in Sin City, the policymakers traded barbs over its apparent …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Apr 2018
An angry woman steaming from the ears

Angry Australians, in the .au registry, with the vote of no confidence: CEO, execs face ousting

Australia's .au internet registry members have called for the scalps of its CEO and three Board members as part of an ongoing dispute over how the organization is being run. The call comes as the Australian government continues an investigation into the governance structure of auDA following a series of controversial decisions …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Apr 2018
embarrassed

Hey, so Europe's GDPR privacy deadline for Whois? We're going to miss it ... by a year or so

The internet's domain name system is going to miss a May 25 deadline to become compliant with new European privacy legislation by, um, a year or so. That's according to the companies that register and maintain domain names, who outlined their schedule in a letter [PDF] to DNS oversight body ICANN. The organizations, which are …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Apr 2018
Cheesy pic of man holding face in shame as accusatory finger emerges from display. Photo via Shutterstock

'Our way or the highway' warranty scams shot down by US watchdog: It's OK to use unofficial parts to repair your gear

America's Federal Trade Commission has told "six major companies" to cut it out when it comes to trying to force consumers to only use their replacement parts for repairs. The regulator has refused to name the companies that claim a product's warranty is voided if consumers don't use their special parts but did reveal that …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Apr 2018

You. FCC. Get out there and do something about these mystery bogus cell towers, huff bigwigs

Senior Congressmen have demanded "immediate action" over mysterious fake cell phone towers in Washington DC that they worry could be being operated by foreign governments. House Reps Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS) this month sent a letter to Ajit Pai – the head of America's comms watchdog, …
The Shining

They're back! 'Feds only' encryption backdoors prepped in US by Dems

US lawmakers are yet again trying to force backdoors into tech products, allowing Uncle Sam, and anyone else with the necessary skills, to rifle through people's private encrypted information. Two years after her effort to introduce new legislation died, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is again spearheading an effort to make …
Harry Potter

Magic Leap ships headsets at last, but you'll need a safe

Augmented reality dreamers Magic Leap has finally begun shipping its hardware – along with a long series of ludicrous security requirements. Developers interested in making content for the untested product have to agree to a long list of restrictions over what they are allowed to say and do with the company's kit – including …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Mar 2018
SpaceX Iridium 5

SpaceX has a good day: Successful launch and FCC satellite approval

SpaceX successfully launched 10 satellites into space Friday, completing its sixth launch this year. The launch from pad 4E at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California came on the same day as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the company's plan to set up its own broadband network in space, making it a …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Mar 2018
Trump

Donald Trump jumps on anti-tech bandwagon, gets everything wrong

Opinion Combining his three favorite pastimes – trying to steal the news cycle, getting all his facts wrong, and spreading brain farts on Twitter – Donald Trump went on anti-Amazon tirade on Thursday. While Facebook continues to be hauled over the coals for its loose relationship with the truth, and Google looks down with its hands …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Mar 2018
dump truck

Europe dumps 300,000 UK-owned .EU domains into the Brexit bin

Brexit has hit the internet, and not in a good way. In an official statement Thursday, the European Commission announced it will cancel all 300,000 domains under the .eu top-level domain that have a UK registrant, following Britain's eventual departure from the European Union. "As of the withdrawal date, undertakings and …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Mar 2018

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018