Kieren McCarthy

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FCC drops idiotic plans to downgrade entire nation's internet speeds

Analysis America's favorite government watchdog – the Federal Communications Commission – has backtracked on plans to downgrade the entire country's internet, agreeing to maintain its current definition of what is broadband speed. In a "factsheet" put out by the telecoms regulator on Friday, FCC chairman Aji Pai noted that the latest …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jan 2018

America restarts dodgy spying program – just as classified surveillance abuse memo emerges

Analysis The US Senate reauthorized a controversial NSA spying program on Thursday – and then, because it's 2018 and nothing matters any more, embarked on a partisan battle over a confidential memo that outlines Uncle Sam's alleged abuse of surveillance powers. The so-called section 702 FISA snooping system, renewed this week, has been …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Jan 2018

.UK overseer Nominet abandons its own charitable foundation – and why this matters

Special report Nominet, which runs the UK's domain-name registry, has abandoned its own charitable foundation, raising questions about the organization's direction and accountability. In an email earlier this week, CEO Russell Haworth stunned members of the non-profit, public-interest outfit by announcing that he was withdrawing from the …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Jan 2018

Two things will survive a nuclear holocaust: Cockroaches and crafty URLs like ғасеьоок.com

It's been known for a long while that people can use similar-looking non-Roman characters to create internet addresses that look similar to real ones. These dishonest URLs have been doing the rounds for years. And, sadly, the abuse of homographs to craft dodgy web addresses continues well into this day, according to security …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Jan 2018

Hey. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. Get in here... so we can shake your hands – US Senate cyber-terror panel

The US Senate's commerce committee basically gave executives from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube a back-rub at a hearing on Wednesday morning. The session was titled "Terrorism and Social Media: #IsBigTechDoingEnough?" and the answer from the majority of lawmakers was "yes." Unfortunately. Under intense pressure in Europe over …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Jan 2018
FBI

US senators vow to filibuster FBI, er, NSA's domestic, errr, foreign mass spying program

Updated A number of US senators from both sides of the aisle have said they will filibuster an effort to approve the continuation of a controversial American government spying program. This mass snooping effort was authorized by section 702 of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Amendments Act, which expired at the end of …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Jan 2018

Butt plugs, mock cocks, late pay and paranoia: The world of Waymo star Anthony Levandowski… by his kids' nanny

The engineer at the center of a massive self-driving car lawsuit – brought by Google-stablemate Waymo against Uber – neglects his kids, is wildly disorganized, and has a large selection of bondage gear, his former nanny has sensationally alleged. Anthony Levandowski may also be paying a Tesla techie for trade secrets, may have …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Jan 2018

German Bar Association says Nein to patent court block effort

The effort to create a single patent court system for Europe has been given a boost with a response from the German Bar Association arguing that a complaint against the Unitary Patent Court (UPC) should be thrown out. The association is one of more than a dozen organizations that have been asked by the German Constitutional …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jan 2018

Infamous Silicon Valley 'sex party' exactly as exciting as it sounds

Comment This week, the tech world has been consumed with intrigue over the details of alleged "sex parties" hosted by Silicon Valley's power brokers. But as more details have emerged, what we all knew to be true has been slowly reasserting itself: nerds don't do sex nor drugs nor rock and/or roll. The salacious claims have been the …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Jan 2018

Q: How do you get YouTube to stop funneling ads to your vids? A: Make jokes next to a dead body

YouTube has revealed where decency standards lie in the internet era: mocking suicide victims while standing next to a corpse. The Google-owned business has finally responded to controversy over one its highest-earning "vloggers" – man-child Logan Paul – announcing that it has removed him from its "Google preferred" program …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Jan 2018

US House reps green-light Fourth Amendment busting spy program

The US House of Representatives has passed a six-year extension to the controversial Section 702 spying program, rejecting an amendment that would have required the authorities to get a warrant before searching for information on US citizens. The 256-164 vote effectively retains the status quo and undermines a multi-year …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Jan 2018

Trump backs push for bumpkin broadband with presidential orders

Analysis President Donald Trump has signed two executive orders aimed at pushing broadband internet into more remote parts of the US, capping a multi-year effort to get America online. But the effectiveness of those actions and the speed and quality of the internet access that will result is in doubt. The first executive order is …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Jan 2018

You. Apple. Get in here and explain these iOS slowdowns and batteries – US, French govt reps

The chairman of the US Senate Commerce Committee and the French government want answers from Apple about its software "update" that slows older iPhones. Senator John Thune (R-SD) and the French economy ministry's consumer fraud watchdog DGCCRF have both asked the technology giant pointed questions about its decision to …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Jan 2018
Nerd kid, image via Shutterstock

Teach citizens IoT dangers, engineering students cybersecurity, Uncle Sam suggests

The US Department of Commerce (DoC) and Department of Homeland Security have put out a draft cybersecurity report that recommends, among other things, that the American government fund a public awareness campaign on IoT security, and make cybersecurity a compulsory part of future engineering degrees. The 38-page report [PDF] …

US Congress seizes net neutrality, stuffs it into a bipartisan black hole

The number of US senators supporting an effort to overturn the repeal of America net neutrality rules has jumped to 40, setting up a Congressional vote on the issue in early spring. Unfortunately, as a press conference held on Tuesday morning in Washington DC made plain, political support for the measure is almost entirely …

Who's that at Ring's door? Why, it's Skybell with a begging cup, er, patent rip-off lawsuit

Smart home doorbell maker Ring has had a bad start to the year with the delivery of a patent infringement lawsuit courtesy of competitor Skybell. Skybell filed its case [PDF] on Friday in a southern California district court, just days before Ring launched a range of new indoor and outdoor security cameras and a line of …

US Senators force vote on Ctrl-Z'ing America's net neutrality death

The controversial repeal of net neutrality rules in America will go to a formal vote in Congress after sufficient lawmakers backed an effort to scrap it. There are now more than 30 Senators that have cosponsored a resolution [PDF] under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the effort by the Federal Communications …

Nest's slick IoT burglar alarm catches crooks... while it eyes your wallet

Review Not that long ago, a thermostat was just a thermostat. It was a beige box that was often installed by someone who came out to your house or office. It did what it did. Turned the heat on, turned the heat off. Had a schedule. Then came Nest, which promised to bring the ugly beige box into the internet era with sexy styling, …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Dec 2017

To Puerto Ricans: A Register apology

We would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the residents of Puerto Rico, and especially those who will not have cell phone coverage over Christmas. It is, we are ashamed to admit, entirely our fault. This is a special time of year, and we feel dreadful for robbing more than 500,000 Puerto Ricans of the opportunity …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Dec 2017
Image: Seinfield. Credit: NBC.

Euro Patent Office fails miserably in key accountability case

The Administrative Council of the European Patent Office (EPO) has inflamed already heightened tensions within the organization by failing to properly address an important accountability test case. The ruling body of the international organization – made up of representatives of European governments – was formally criticized …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Dec 2017

Magic Leap blows our mind with its incredible technology... that still doesn't f**king exist

Comment It has kept everyone waiting but Magic Leap has finally revealed that… there are still publications stupid enough to keep printing its bullshit. This time around it is the desperate-to-please tech arm of Rolling Stone, Glixel. Glixel shuttered its San Francisco office earlier this year: a loss for tech journalism but a golden …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Dec 2017
Batman. Credit: DC Comics.

Autsch! Germany slaps Facebook in its abusive little face for 'limitlessly amassing data'

Germany's competition authority has accused Facebook of abusing its market dominance to "limitlessly amass every kind of data" on people. The Bundeskartellamt informed the American social media giant on Tuesday of its "preliminary legal assessment" that by forcing third-party websites and apps – including WhatsApp, Instagram …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Dec 2017

US senators rail against effort to sneak through creepy mass spying bill

A bipartisan group of US senators have lambasted an effort to force permanent authorization of a controversial warrantless American spying program through Congress by attaching it to an end-of-year spending bill, calling the effort "an end-run around the Constitution." At a press conference Tuesday morning, Senators Ron Wyden …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Dec 2017

Twitter's not dreaming of a white supremacist Xmas: Accounts nuked

Twitter today started imposing rules designed to reduce hateful and abusive content on its service – to the delight of many, and fury of others. Among the accounts suspended within hours of the biz enforcing the new policy – as scheduled – were those belonging to Britain First members as well as its leader and deputy leader, …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Dec 2017

Top Silicon Valley tech judge hits alt-F4 under cloud of sex-pest claims

Top US tech judge Alex Kozinski has resigned, effectively immediately, amid claims of sexual misconduct. Kozinski announced his decision Monday, coming after the news on Friday that the chief judge of the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court, based in San Francisco, California, had ordered a formal inquiry into allegations from more …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Dec 2017

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