Shaun Nichols

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Facebook confesses: Facebook is bad for you

Facebook has just publicaly slapped itself upside the head, admitting that its very existence is often detrimental to the wellbeing of its users. An analysis today from Facebook's research director David Ginsberg and research scientist Moira Burke serves as a mea culpa of sorts from Zuck and Co about the emotional and mental …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Dec 2017

Ex-Microsoft intern claimed one of her fellow temps raped her. Her bosses hired him

An ex-Microsoft worker has accused the US software giant of bungling her internal complaint that a fellow employee raped her while she slept. In a letter submitted in support of an ongoing gender discrimination class-action lawsuit against Microsoft in the US state of Washington, the woman said that, in 2012, she was working …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Dec 2017

Oracle swallows sales spurt from one of its niche categories: Cloud

Oracle topped analyst expectations and continued its push into the cloud computing space with another strong quarter. Execs, talking to analysts on Thursday, were optimistic in the database and middleware titan's ability to continue to move from its massive on-prem empire to more cloud and service offerings. Just don't talk …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Dec 2017

Please, please, c'mon, just... please, pretty please, just, like, please use our AI – Microsoft

Microsoft has bunged a load of AI-powered features into its software – from Azure and Office 365 to Bing and Cortana. The capabilities, a large collection of individually minor updates and new stuff, are part of an effort by the Windows giant to translate its machine-learning research work into things that will actually matter …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Dec 2017
botnet

OK, OK, MIRA-I DID IT: Botnet-building compsci kid comes clean

A former New Jersey college student has copped to helping create and run the massive Mirai DDoS botnet. Paras Jha, 21, pleaded guilty this month in an Alaska district court to two counts [PDF, PDF] of conspiracy to commit "fraud and related activity in connection with computers." In plea deals with US prosecutors, unsealed …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Dec 2017
Coal miners

Up to 'ONE BEEELLION' vid-stream gawpers toil in crypto-coin mines

Security experts claim four extremely popular video-streaming websites have been secretly loaded with crypto-currency-crafting code. According to AdGuard, the massive Monero-mining operation was discovered when ad-blocking plugin developer was fine-tuning its ad blockers to catch and block sites that attempt to hijack web …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Dec 2017
Pile of coins toppled

SEC sends ICO for restaurant app Munchee back to the kitchen

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has intervened to stop an initial coin offering (ICO) that attempted to raise US$15m for a restaurant review app named "Munchee". The regulator served Munchee Inc. with a cease and desist order [PDF] to halt the offering on grounds it was an unregistered security. Munchee tried to …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Dec 2017
A sad child in a holiday hat

Put down the eggnog, it's Patch Tuesday: Fix Windows boxes ASAP

Microsoft has kicked out its December batch of software security fixes, the final Patch Tuesday of 2017. Redmond has addressed 32 CVE-listed vulnerabilities in Edge, Windows, and Office, as well as a hole in Internet Explorer last seen in the early-oughts. Get patching as soon as possible. Leading this month's Patch Tuesday …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Dec 2017
Photo by Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

Trump to NASA: Fly me (or some other guys) to the Moon

President Trump has called on NASA to focus its attention on returning humans to the Moon and landing on Mars. Trump on Monday signed off on Space Policy Directive 1, an order that the American space agency prioritize the establishment of a base on the Moon and eventual plans to land people on Mars. The directive also looks …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Dec 2017
Intel Pentium Silver and Celeron chips

Intel beefs up low-end line with Gemini Lake CPUs

Intel has released the successors to its low-power Pentium 'Silver' and Celeron lines. The new chips are based on the Gemini Lake architecture (Intel's successor to 2016's Atom-derived Apollo Lake) and will be largely aimed at low-cost markets like budget PCs, 2-in-1 tablets, and data entry boxes that don't require much muscle …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Dec 2017

Kentucky lawmaker pushes smut filter law (update: maybe not)

A state legislator in Kentucky, USA, wants to mandate porn filters on all PCs and mobile phones sold in the state. Rep. Dan Johnson (R-Mt. Washington) issued a proposal that would require devices sold with internet access to be shipped with software to block out "obscenity, child pornography, revenge pornography, and …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Dec 2017

Japanese quadcopter makes overworked employees clock out

A Japanese company is using a quadcopter drone to help its employees know when to pack it in for the day. Taisei, a Tokyo-based office management company, says that its T-Frend bot will start buzzing around offices next spring. The drone service, operated in partnership with NTT East and Blue Innovation, will fly around …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Dec 2017
Android

Android flaw lets attack code slip into signed apps

Researchers say a recently patched vulnerability in Android could leave users vulnerable to attack from signed apps. The vulnerability, dubbed Janus, would allow a malicious application to add bytes of code to the APK or DEX formats used by Android applications without affecting the application's signature. In other words, a …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Dec 2017
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Would-be startup crew charged with stealing employer's tech

Four former Applied Materials employees have been charged with stealing the company's chipmaking technology to use as the basis for their own startup. The US Department of Justice says that Liang Chen, Donald Olgado, Wei-Tung Hsu, and Robert Ewald conspired to steal designs and prototypes of Applied Materials metal organic …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Dec 2017
Microsoft patch

Microsoft emergency update: Malware Engine needs, erm, malware protection

Microsoft has posted an out-of-band security update to address a remote code execution flaw in its Malware Protection Engine. Redmond says the flaw, dubbed CVE-2017-11937, has not yet been exploited in the wild. Because it is an out-of-band critical fix, however, it should be installed as soon as possible. For most users, this …
Shaun Nichols, 7 Dec 2017
macOS Sierra

Apple gets around to patching all the other High Sierra security holes

Apple has released a security update to address nearly two dozen vulnerabilities in macOS High Sierra. The update comes little more than a week after Apple had to kick out an emergency fix to close up a glaring hole in macOS that allowed anyone with access to a Mac (either in person or remote) to bypass the login screen and …
Shaun Nichols, 7 Dec 2017

NiceHash diced up by hackers, thousands of Bitcoin pilfered

Cryptocurrency mining market NiceHash says it has fallen victim to a hacking attack that may have resulted in the loss of its entire Bitcoin wallet. The marketplace, where users can buy and sell their computing cycles to mine cryptocurrency, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon confirming that it had indeed fallen victim to …
Shaun Nichols, 6 Dec 2017
a hostile drone

New Jersey lawmakers propose ban on folks drunk droning

The State of New Jersey is considering a law to criminalize flying drones while drunk or stoned. A bill introduced last week by Assembleywoman Annete Quijano (D-Union) would make it a crime to operate a recreatinal drone while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drunk-droning would be a fourth-degree crime in the state ( …
Shaun Nichols, 6 Dec 2017

Merger-hungry AT&T sued for price gouging by Texas ISP

AT&T has been hit with a particularly badly-timed antitrust lawsuit accusing it of price gouging. The telecoms giant was sued [PDF] by Texas-based ISP and TV carrier En-Touch Systems for charging exorbitantly high prices for a local sports channel AT&T owned in the Houston market. The suit, filed in AT&T subsidiary DirecTV's …
Shaun Nichols, 6 Dec 2017
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Tech giants at war: Google pulls plug on YouTube in Amazon kit

Google is trying to stop Amazon Echo Show devices from streaming YouTube videos – and from January, it will block Amazon’s Fire TVs from accessing the vid service, too. It appears the ad giant is killing off access to the YouTube app on Amazon's gadgets. From today, opening the YouTube application on an Echo Show or Fire TV …
Shaun Nichols, 5 Dec 2017

Facebook, Twitter, Google cleared in Dallas shooting lawsuit

A US judge says social networks cannot be held accountable for the murderous actions of their users. A district court in Dallas, Texas, dismissed with prejudice this week the idea that the major social networking sites in America harbored the sentiment that lead to the shooting and death of five Dallas police officers in July …
Shaun Nichols, 5 Dec 2017
A businessman in handcuffs

SEC's cyber-cops cyber-file cyber-first cyber-fraud cyber-charges

The SEC's new online crime unit says it has frozen what officials believe to be a fraudulent cryptocurrency. The US securities watchdog claims Canada-based PlexCorps and its owners, Dominic Lacroix and Sabrina Paradis-Royer, are violating anti-fraud statutes by promising US investors impossible returns on investments in their …
Shaun Nichols, 5 Dec 2017

Apple sprays down bug-ridden iOS 11 with more fixes

Apple has posted an update to address a host of bugs in its iOS mobile software. The iOS 11.2 update patches both security and stability bugs in the iPad/iPhone firmware. It will also improve the wireless charging for new iPhones and add a payments feature to Siri and Messages, Apple promises. The bugs addressed in iOS 11.2 …
Shaun Nichols, 4 Dec 2017
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Sprint calls out Charter with chat-patent sueball

Stop us if you've heard this one; two telecoms heavyweights are headed to court over allegations of patent infringement. This time, it's Sprint and Charter who are bringing out the lawyers over allegations that Charter's phone service infringes on more than a dozen voice over internet protocol (VoIP) patents Sprint was issued …
Shaun Nichols, 4 Dec 2017

WW2 Enigma machine to be seized from shamed pharma bro Shkreli

A World War II German Enigma machine will be among the valuables a US court plans to seize from convicted felon and shamed former pharmaceuticals exec Martin Shkreli. The Enigma box is listed among the valuable assets American prosecutors plan to take to help cover the $7.4m in forfeiture the New York Eastern District ordered …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Dec 2017

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