Kieren McCarthy

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Hey you know what the smart-home world really needs right now? Yup, Google screaming in

Analysis Google has joined the battle to create a single-supplier smart-home with the release of a new product called the Home Hub. The Hub – launched today amid the official unveiling of Google's Pixel 3 and 3XL smartphones – is a semi-moveable dashboard with a screen that will communicate with smart home products from its Nest …
Man confused by laptop

Chinese Super Micro 'spy chip' story gets even more strange as everyone doubles down

The veracity of a bombshell yarn claiming Chinese agents managed to sneak spy chips into Super Micro servers used by Amazon, Apple and the US government is still being fiercely argued over five days after publication. On Tuesday, the media outlet behind the claims, Bloomberg, responded to growing criticism of its report by …
Steve Jobs

On the seventh anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, we give you 7 times he served humanity and acted as an example to others

Seven years ago on this day, Steve Jobs, the cofounder of Apple and a man held up as one of the most remarkable innovators of modern times, died at his home in Silicon Valley, aged 56. To commemorate the day, this morning Apple CEO Tim Cook posted a picture of Jobs in his prime with the simple message: "Steve showed me – and …

Uncle Sam gives itself the right to shoot down any drone, anywhere, any time, any how

The US federal government has just authorized its staff to shoot down any drone they consider a threat. The provision was added to the routine reauthorization act for the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) – the watchdog that deals with America's skies – and has invited the ire of civil liberties groups who are unhappy at the …

Decoding the Chinese Super Micro super spy-chip super-scandal: What do we know – and who is telling the truth?

Analysis Chinese government agents sneaked spy chips into Super Micro servers used by Amazon, Apple, the US government, and about 30 other organizations, giving Beijing's snoops access to highly sensitive data, according to a bombshell Bloomberg report today. The story, which has been a year in the making and covers events it says …
thumbs up

California cracks down on Internet of Crap passwords with new law to stop the botnets

Anyone manufacturing an internet-connected device in California will, from 2020, have to give it a unique password in an effort to increase overall online security. That's the main impact of a new bill recently signed into law by Cali governor Jerry Brown, SB-327 called "Security of connected devices." The law is the US state …

CEO pleads guilty of conspiring with drug cartels to sell them stealthy Blackberrys

The CEO of a company that took Blackberry phones, stripped them of their cameras, microphones and GPS and then installed encryption software in order to create a secure phone, has pleaded guilty to conspiring with drug cartels. Vincent Ramos of Phantom Secure was arrested back in March following an FBI investigation in which …

Google is still chasing the self-driving engineer that jumped ship to Uber

If you thought the monster battle between Google and Uber over alleged theft of its self-driving technology was over, you'd be wrong. The two companies were involved in an extraordinary legal battle earlier this year that revealed a series of shady goings-on at Uber, including a special unit whose job it was to steal …

Screwed SAP salesman scores $660,000 jury award

SAP America has been ordered to pay a former salesman $662,200 for screwing him out of commissions and then firing him when he complained. Steven Serabian sued SAP in January 2016 after the company kept failing to pay him agreed compensation for his work between 2011 and 2013. Documents produced at the five-day trial showed …
message bottle

Sun billionaire Khosla discovers life's a beach after US Supreme Court refuses to hear him out

The US Supreme Court has put an end to the embarrassing eight-year legal battle over access to a California beach by refusing to hear an appeal from Sun Microsystems co-founder and obstinate billionaire Vinod Khosla. The refusal makes it 0-4 against Khosla in his baffling crusade to restrict public access to a beach after he …
US boxing glove, photo via Shutterstock

The ink's not dry on California'a new net neutrality law and the US govt is already suing

Analysis Within minutes of California signing a net neutrality bill into law on Sunday, the US Department of Justice sued the state claiming the new legislation is illegal. And so begins the latest bout in a battle over internet access that has been running for five years and is likely to last five more. "In this action, the United …

Fortnite 'fesses up: New female character's jiggly bits 'unintended' and 'embarrassing'

Video The maker of super-hit video game Fortnite issued a red-faced apology on Friday after its new female character was seen to have some extra wiggle. The latest "season" of the game started this week featuring a new "skin" – a cowgirl named Calamity. But as gamers quickly noted, when she performs one of the games' trademark …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Sep 2018
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook: Up to 90 million addicts' accounts slurped by hackers, no thanks to crappy code

Updated Facebook confessed today that buggy code potentially exposed all of its users' accounts to hackers over the past 14 months. It reckons miscreants snooped on least 50 million people's private profiles, and perhaps as much as 90 million. In a security note posted Friday morning, the social media giant's VP of product management …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Sep 2018

Top Euro court gives Infineon the benefit of the doubt, wags finger at Philips over pricing

It is possible that Infineon was not as deeply involved in a price-fixing cartel as previously assumed, the European Court of Justice has ruled. But Philips can suck it. Infineon appealed its €83m ($97m, £74m) fine, claiming that a lower court had not given it a fair hearing because it only investigated five out of 11 …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Sep 2018

VR going mainstream? Yeah, next year, says Facebook, for the third year in a row

Virtual reality is going to be huge. That's the official word – again – from the annual Oculus conference in California, USA, this week. One year on from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg taking to the stage to tell fellow nerds that he wants one billion people to try virtual reality, the Behoodied One returned this year, and …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Sep 2018

'This is insane!' FCC commissioner tears into colleagues over failure to stop robocalls

It was supposed to be a moment of victory: the FCC had tracked down two people responsible for making tens of millions of robocalls in America, and is planning to fine them $82m and $37.5m respectively. "This is the Commission’s first major enforcement action against a company that apparently commandeered consumers’ phone …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Sep 2018
bart simpson

Eat my shorts, watchdog tells every city mayor in the US – FCC approves $2bn 5G telco windfall

If you were to pick a moment in which America's telecoms regulator disappeared down the rabbit hole at its monthly meeting, it would probably be when the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Ajit Pai provided a full "up is down" statement. "I salute Commissioner Carr for his leadership in developing this …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Sep 2018

Internet be nimble, internet be QUIC, Cloudflare shows off new networking shtick

CloudFlare has puts its weight behind a new internet protocol that should make mobile browsing faster and more secure. The content delivery network has launched a new test site for Quick UDP Internet Connections (QUIC), complete with a variety of blog posts outlining the protocol's promise in both general and technical terms …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Sep 2018

America cooks up its flavor of GDPR – and Google's over the moon

The US government has started the process to create fresh rules to safeguard Americans' online privacy, opening a "request for comments" on its initial proposal. On Tuesday morning, the Department of Commerce opened a public comment period on a "user centric" approach it says will "provide high levels of protection for …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Sep 2018
Zoho logo

Whoa – oh no, Zoho: Domain name no-show deals CRM biz, 40m punters a crushing blow

CRM biz Zoho left millions of customers fuming on Monday when it briefly lost control of its critical domain name, bringing its services to a grinding halt. Around 9am Pacific Time, its staff freaked out after the homepage came up blank. The domain name had been blocked, a message from the company's registrar …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Sep 2018

Brexit campaigner AggregateIQ challenges UK's first GDPR notice

A Canadian data analytics firm on the receiving end of the UK's first-ever violation notice of Europe's new data privacy laws is appealing the claims against it. The GDPR notice was sent by Blighty's Information Commissioner (ICO) against AggregateIQ, an organization linked to the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal. The biz …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Sep 2018

US cities react in fury to FCC's $2bn break for 5G telcos: We'll be picking up the tab, say officials

A plan to impose a federal price cap and one-size-fits-all model for the rollout of next-generation mobile networks has been met with fury by US cities. New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, Las Vegas, San Diego, Seattle and dozens of other cities have responded in anger to a public comment period on two …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Sep 2018
genie lamp

Buried in the hype, one little detail: Amazon's Alexa-on-a-chip could steal smart home market

Analysis Amid the enormous bundle of digital-assistant devices and technology Amazon super-hyped this week, one particular component has the potential to change the future of the smart home market. It's hardware that, in theory, would allow any manufacturer to make their products work with the Alexa system. The Alexa Connect Kit is …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Sep 2018
ball chain

In a race to 5G, Trump has stuck a ball-and-chain on America's leg

Comment President Donald Trump's trade war with China may come with a serious cost to America's next-generation cellular networks, a federal regulator has warned. FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel told a conference audience on Thursday that part of the new tariffs announced by the White House against China will include 25 per cent …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Sep 2018

Remember when Apple's FaceTime stopped working years ago? Yeah, that was deliberate

Apple is accused of deliberately shafting people who didn't upgrade their iPhones and iOS, in a class action lawsuit over its FaceTime video-conferencing software. This week, US district judge Lucy Koh allowed [PDF] a class-action lawsuit against the tech giant to move forward after she rejected Apple's argument that it can do …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Sep 2018

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