Shaun Nichols

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Yay, it's power play day: Conaway prays USA says 'no way' to Huawei

A law bill introduced into the US House of Representatives would, if passed, ban Uncle Sam's agencies from using stuff made by Chinese mobile giants ZTE and Huawei. The proposed legislation, drafted by Rep Mike Conaway (R-TX), would bar government staffers from purchasing or operating any hardware, software, or services from …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jan 2018

Dear US taxpayers, 4.5 BEEELLION of your dollars were blown on unapproved IT projects

American government agencies are spending billions of tax dollars on IT projects without getting the proper approval or oversight. This is according to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which studied the IT spending of 22 agencies, and found that about $4.5bn of Uncle Sam's $19.2bn IT spending in fiscal …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jan 2018

Funnily enough, small-town broadband cheaper than big cable packages, say Harvard eggheads

A study in the US has found that, where they're still allowed, municipally-owned broadband networks are likely to deliver customers a better value than what the cable giants offer. The research (PDF), conducted by Harvard University's Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, found that over a four-year period, homes that …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jan 2018
OnePlus 2 backs

OnePlus Android mobes' clipboard app caught phoning home to China

UPDATE OnePlus has admitted that the clipboard app in a beta build of its Android OS was beaming back mystery data to a cloud service in China. Someone running the latest test version of OnePlus's Oreo-based operating system revealed in its support forums that unusual activity from the builtin clipboard manager had been detected by a …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jan 2018
Man shreds documents. Photo by Shutterstock

Of course Uber allegedly had a tool to remotely destroy evidence

Uber is once again standing accused of shady behavior, this time allegedly developing mechanisms to rapidly shield documents and other files from the eyes of police. A report by Bloomberg today claimed the dial-a-ride broker built a tool called Ripley to remotely lock and remove potentially incriminating data from machines in …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jan 2018

Stop us if you've heard this one: Apple's password protection in macOS can be thwarted

It just works. For anyone. An Apple developer has uncovered another embarrassing vulnerability in macOS High Sierra, aka version 10.13, that lets someone bypass part of the operating system's password protections. This time, a vulnerable dialog box was found in the System Preferences panel for the App Store settings. The bug …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jan 2018
Crying manager photo via Shutterstock

1 in 5 STEM bros whinge they can't catch a break in tech world they run

A bunch of blokes in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – STEM – jobs reckon they are the victim of "reverse discrimination" from efforts to diversify the ranks in tech companies. This is according to a study by Pew Research, which said this week that an August survey of men in STEM careers showed that 19 per …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jan 2018
Assange

WikiLeave? Assange tipped for Ecuadorian eviction

The Ecuadorian government has reportedly sought a plan to end Julian Assange's world's longest couch surfing stint record attempt at its London embassy. Ecuador's foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa told the AFP news agency her country would look to bring in a mediator to help settle the legal dispute that has lead to …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jan 2018
Dodgeball's 'Bold Strategy' scene

Good lord, Kodak's stock is up 120 per cent. How? New film? Oh. It launched a crypto-coin

Camera film relic Kodak is trying to reinvent itself in the most 2018 way possible: by launching its own cryptocurrency. The imaging company says its new make-believe money, named KODAKCoin, will be pitched as a way for photographers to issue and collect royalty payments. The idea is that shutterbugs will use the KodakOne …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Jan 2018
A car passenger not enjoying the drive

Don't just grab your CPU bug updates – there's a nasty hole in Office, too

Patch Tuesday In case you've been hiding under a rock for the entirety of this new year (and we don't blame you if you have) there are a handful of major security flaws that have been dominating the news, and feature prominently in this month's Patch Tuesday update load. First, let's look at the latest developments in the Meltdown/Spectre …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Jan 2018
Oracle logo on building in Amsterdam

US appeals court trims $50m off Oracle's take in Rimini Street law battle

A US appeals court has knocked $50m off Oracle's $124m winnings in its 2016 copyright case against Rimini Street. On Monday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals largely upheld the enterprise software giant's claims that Rimini Street violated its copyright on software and support materials. But it tossed out the findings that …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Jan 2018

VTech hack fallout: What is a kid's privacy worth? About 22 cents – FTC

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today agreed to a settlement deal with a children's electronic toymaker it had accused of collecting kids' personal information and then failing to properly secure that data. The government watchdog said VTech will pay $650,000 and agree to a set of privacy and security requirements in …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Jan 2018
Music kid image via Shutterstock

Apple, quit milking tech-addicted fruit of our loins – shareholders

Updated A group of Apple shareholders are asking the Cupertino idiot-tax collector to do more about getting kids to put down their iThings. An open letter to Cook and Co from two Apple stockholders – JANA Partners and The California State Teachers' Retirement System – suggested the Silicon Valley giant plow some of its surplus …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Jan 2018
Cat peeks outside cardboard box. Photo by shuttertsock

Qualcomm joins Intel, Apple, Arm, AMD in confirming its CPUs suffer hack bugs, too

Qualcomm has confirmed its processors have the same security vulnerabilities disclosed this week in Intel, Arm, AMD and IBM CPU cores. The California tech giant picked the favored Friday US West Coast afternoon "news dump" slot to admit at least some of its billions of Arm-compatible Snapdragon system-on-chips and newly …
Shaun Nichols, 6 Jan 2018
TSA gloves

US border cops told to stop copying people's files just for the hell of it

With device searches at American border crossings reaching an all-time high, the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) this week tightened its rules for when agents can pull data from phones and computers. The updated directive [PDF] amends the 2009 CBP border search guidelines to require that agents at least have "reasonable …
Shaun Nichols, 5 Jan 2018
Attorney Lionel Hutz

Here come the lawyers! Intel slapped with three Meltdown bug lawsuits

Just days after The Register revealed a serious security hole in its CPU designs, Intel is the target of three different class-action lawsuits in America. Complaints filed in US district courts in San Francisco, CA [PDF], Eugene, OR [PDF], and Indianapolis, IN [PDF] accuse the chip kingpin of, among other things, deceptive …
Shaun Nichols, 5 Jan 2018
A frustrated woman

Women reboot gender discrimination lawsuit against Google

The class-action lawsuit accusing Google of deliberately paying women less than men has been revised and brought back to a US court. Attorneys representing women who worked at the American ad giant as engineers, software managers, program managers, sales staff, and early childhood education (at Google's pre-school/day care …
Shaun Nichols, 5 Jan 2018
Cloud moving at a snail's pace

Amazon: Intel Meltdown patch will slow down your AWS EC2 server

Amazon AWS customers have complained of noticeable slowdowns on their cloud server instances – following the deployment of a security patch to counter the Intel processor design flaw dubbed Meltdown. Punters said that, since AWS shored up its infrastructure, and began rolling out its Meltdown-patched Linux in December, they …
Shaun Nichols, 4 Jan 2018

Microsoft patches Windows to cool off Intel's Meltdown – wait, antivirus? Slow your roll

Microsoft has released updates for Windows to block attempts by hackers and malware to exploit the Meltdown vulnerability in Intel x86-64 processors – but you will want to check your antivirus software before applying the fixes. The Redmond giant issued the out-of-band update late yesterday for Windows 10 version 1709. While …
Shaun Nichols, 4 Jan 2018

IBM lobs sueball at travel site Expedia for using some old Prodigy patents

IBM has filed suit against online travel giant Expedia alleging violation of four patents that harken back to the early days of dial-up internet. Big Blue has accused Expedia and several of its subsidiary travel sites, including Orbitz, Hotwire, and Hotels.com of infringing four patents related to the operation of browser- …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Jan 2018

Fetch calls Uber's bluff: See you in court, bros!

Advertising company Fetch says it wants a federal court to hear its challenge to Uber's claims of 'click fraud' in mobile ads. The American arm of the UK-based ad firm filed a complaint on Tuesday seeking to have a federal court hear its challenge to the suit Uber filed in September of 2017 over the handling of fraudulent ad …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Jan 2018
Forever 21 storefront

Shopped in Forever 21? There was bank-card-slurping malware in it for, like, forever

Clothing chain Forever 21 has admitted a malware infection on its cash registers swiped customer payment card details for most of last year. The retailer issued a statement revealing that from how last year, from April 3 to November 18, hackers were able to harvest the payment card details from point of sale (POS) terminals in …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Jan 2018
Otto smart lock

Big shock: $700 Internet-of-Things door lock not a success

You won't have a $700 smart lock to kick around any more, as Otto (no, not that one) shut down and sacked its staff just before Christmas – without ever delivering a product. Otto, whose sole gizmo was to be an internet-connected finger-scanning front-door lock, said it ran out of money, and will not be able to ship its gear …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Jan 2018
Lenovo web page editorial use only

SuperFish cram scandal: Lenovo must now ask nicely before stuffing new PCs with crapware

The US government's trade watchdog, the FTC, has finalized its settlement deal with Lenovo on charges the PC builder sold Americans machines crammed with intrusive adware. The Federal Trade Commission kicked off 2018 announcing it has approved a deal that will end lawsuits against Lenovo in more than three dozen US states – as …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Jan 2018

Ubuntu 17.10 pulled: Linux OS knackers laptop BIOSes, Intel kernel driver fingered

Updated Canonical has halted downloads of Ubuntu Linux 17.10, aka Artful Aardvark, from its website after punters complained installing the open-source OS on laptops knackered the machines. Specifically, the desktop flavor of Artful Aardvark, released in October, has been temporarily pulled – the server builds and other editions …

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