Kieren McCarthy

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Stop sign in front of a bush. Image via Shutterstock

Super Cali goes ballistic, net neutrality hopeless? Even Ajit Pai's gloating is something quite atrocious

The US state of California has agreed to put its controversial net neutrality law on hold pending a legal challenge against it from the federal government. Cali governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 822 (SB-822) into law on the last day of September – the last day he was able to before leaving office. The federal government …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Oct 2018
5g snake oil

What can I say about this 5G elixir? Try it on steaks! Cleans nylons! It's made for the home! The office! On fruits!

Once in a generation, a technology comes along that changes everything: how we work, communicate, trade, live. And based on a year of seemingly endless coverage, you could be forgiven for believing that "5G", the next advance in wireless technology, is it. It will make the internet-of-things a reality; it will fix internet …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Oct 2018
Laser communicates with satellite

Americans' broadband access is so screwed up that the answer may lie in tiny space satellites

What's harder: putting a pipe of cables in the ground, or launching a satellite into space? Well, when it comes to the screwed-up world of internet access in the United States, it seems that space is the better option. Next month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is due to vote on no less than nine issues related …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Oct 2018
Someone taking a selfie in the Amazon rainforest

Amazon tried to entice Latin American officials with $5m in Kindles, AWS credits for .amazon

Amazon offered the governments of Brazil and Peru millions of dollars' worth of Kindles and AWS hosting if they would stop blocking its effort to get hold of the .amazon top-level domain. The governments turned the offer down. This is the latest twist in the long-running saga between one of the world's most powerful companies …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Oct 2018
Time to cough up my money

Congrats from 123-Reg! You can now pay us an extra £6 or £12 a year for basically nothing

Analysis UK domain name holders are furious with registrar 123-Reg for automatically charging them an additional £6 a year for a service few of them want or even need. Thousands of .uk domain owners have been informed this week that 123-Reg is "adding advanced protection features" to their domain in the next few weeks. The "upgrade" …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Oct 2018
phone

Finally, someone takes a stand against Apple, Samsung for slowing people's phones. Just a few million dollars, tho

Apple and Samsung have been fined a relatively sod-all amount – just a few million dollars – by Italy's antitrust watchdog for purposefully slowing down old phones. Still, it's the thought that counts, eh? In a statement on Wednesday, the Italian competition authority, the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato ( …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Oct 2018

Facebook, Google sued for 'secretly' slurping people's whereabouts – while Feds lap it up

Facebook and Google are being sued in two proposed class-action lawsuits for allegedly deceptively gathering location data on netizens who thought they had opted out of such cyber-stalking. The legal challenges stem from revelations earlier this year that even after users actively turn off "location history" on their …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Oct 2018
schoolkids

Science: Broke brats glued to the web while silk-stocking scions have better things to do

A new survey of teenagers reveals that children from poorer households use the internet more than those from richer homes, upending a common assumption about our online lives. In addition, richer kids use the internet in a more productive way, spending significantly more of their time looking up educational material and things …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Oct 2018
jesus

SQLite creator crucified after code of conduct warns devs to love God, and not kill, commit adultery, steal, curse...

Open-source database SQLite has told its developers it expects them to follow Christ, love chastity, clothe the naked, and not murder, steal, nor sleep with their colleagues' spouses. That's the upshot of a somewhat untypical code of conduct that the widely used project has published online. While most code of conducts take an …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Oct 2018
China keyboard, image via Shutterstock

Forgotten that Chinese spy chip story? We haven't – it's still wrong, Super Micro tells SEC

The computer server maker at the center of a dramatic secret Chinese spy-chip story has again insisted the yarn is wrong, and called the whole thing "technically implausible." US-headquartered Super Micro sent a note to its customers late last week denying all claims in a recent Bloomberg BusinessWeek article that the Chinese …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Oct 2018
charge

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 …
running

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 …
jury

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

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
maybe

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
oculus

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

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