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Crowdfunding refund judgment doesn't quite open the floodgates

Comment Yesterday's county court ruling that Indiegogo's Ts&Cs weren’t wholly relevant to the question "does a crowdfunding-backed company form a contract of sale with its customers?" won't quite open the floodgates for people who feel they've been ripped off. The decision by District Judge Clarke in the Luton County Court, England, …
Gareth Corfield, 01 Feb 2018
Microsoft Surface Pro 3

$14bn tax hit, Surface Pro screens keep dying – but it's not all good news at Microsoft

Updated Microsoft Surface Pro 4 owners are up in arms over what they claim is an ongoing epidemic of screen failures blighting their expensive fondleslabs. Disgruntled punters on the Redmond support forums and the dedicated independent website FlickerGate.com say their tablets are prone to a hardware glitch that causes the display to …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Feb 2018
Old pound coins in a stack

Crowdfunding small print binned as Retro Computers Ltd loses court refund action

A crowdfunding backer of Retro Computers Ltd has won his court claim for a refund against the Brit company for failing to deliver its promised product. The court, in south England, also ruled that Indiegogo’s terms and conditions were not relevant to the claim. At Luton County Court this morning District Judge Clarke ruled …
Gareth Corfield, 31 Jan 2018
flags

In America, tech support conmen get a mild slap. In Blighty, scammers get the book thrown at them

Two bogus technical support operations have been shut down over the past two days – but the punishment dished out highlights eyebrow-raising differences between the US and UK in how they deal with these scumbags. On Monday, the US Federal Trade Commission reached a settlement with six people accused of running a technical …
Iain Thomson, 31 Jan 2018

The Zuck promises to give you more local news – and so save the world

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has taken another step on his path to enlightenment, informing the masses that henceforth the Holy Facebook will include more news from local sources. The teaching was posted to The Zuck's personal page and in it he reveals the great truth to his followers: that understanding of issues closest to …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Jan 2018
Laptop user, photo via Shutterstock

HP coughs up $6.5m to make dodgy laptop display lawsuit go away

HP has settled a class-action lawsuit in the US over the failing screens in some of its Pavillion notebooks. Judge Thomas Kuhnle of the Santa Clara County Superior Court in California gave final approval on Friday to the settlement deal that will see the PC vendor hand over $6.5m to customers who, back in 2002, purchased one …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jan 2018

US Pentagon scrambles after Strava base leaks. Here's a summary of the new rules: 'Secure that s***, Hudson!'

The American military has ordered a review of its grunts' personal electronics – after the Strava fitness app used by soldiers revealed base locations and other operational security gaffes. In November, the exercise-tracking software maker released a "heatmap" to show where in the world people were using the application to …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jan 2018

Can't login to Skype? You're not alone. Chat app's been a bit crap for five days now

A bunch of Skype users are unhappy that they're been unable to sign into the VoIP service for several days. The yakkity-yak app has fallen flat since January 24, leaving a number of punters with two-factor authentication enabled unable to get back into the software after signing out. "Skype users who are signed in are not …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jan 2018
Audi TT

Newsflash: Car cyber-security still sucks

In 2015, infosec gurus Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek demonstrated that they could take over and turn off a jeep from afar as it was being driven, a feat that magnified interest in car hacking. Their wireless attack was conducted on an active vehicle. But it turns out the engine doesn't have to be running. This is separate …
Thomas Claburn, 26 Jan 2018
Pebble Time

Look on the bright side, Pebble fans. At least your gizmo will work long enough for you to get beach body ready

Fitbit says it will formally end support for Pebble hardware this summer. The dying exercise wearables specialist said today that on June 30, 2018, it will cut off online services and support for any remaining Pebble wrist-puters. Don't fret. At least you'll have enough time to use one of the doomed smartwatches to shed …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jan 2018

Hawaii governor: I wanted to tell everyone nuke alert was fake – I just forgot my password

Red faces over Hawaii’s false nuke alert got even redder this week, as the governor admitted he knew it was a mistake – but couldn’t alert citizens because he didn't know his Twitter password. A state of panic ensued in the state on January 13, after a slip of the finger in the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency sent all …
Rebecca Hill, 24 Jan 2018

Europe slaps €997m antitrust fine on Qualcomm

Updated The European Commission today slapped a €997m (£872m) fine on Qualcomm for abusing its dominant market position - finding it paid billions to Apple to exclusively use its chips. The Snapdragon chip designer blocked rivals by making significant payments to a key customer on condition it would not buy cellular modem chipsets …
Kat Hall, 24 Jan 2018
Apple iPhone X poo

29 MEEELLION iPhone Xs flogged... only to be end-of-life'd by summer?

Apple globally shipped 29 million units of the eye-wateringly expensive iPhone X in the two months after it was launched in late 2017, falling short of consensus estimates from analysts. Sales of the $999 handset – priced at £999 in Britain – were expected to reach 30 million, said Ben Stanton, analyst at Canalys, which …
Paul Kunert, 23 Jan 2018

That's not very ice! Blizzard silently patches games hack hole, gives Googler cold shoulder

Blizzard games – played every month by half a billion netizens, apparently – could be hijacked by malicious websites visited by gamers, according to Google's Project Zero team. Googler Tavis Ormandy spotted the vulnerability in the Blizzard Update Agent, which is installed alongside all Blizzard titles. This particular …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jan 2018

Firms pushing devices at teachers that let kids draw... on a screen? You BETT

Hold on to your hats, Reg readers - Microsoft has some ground-breaking news to offer you: kids of the future are going to need collaboration, problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity skills for work. Ever the committed educationalist, Redmond has commissioned McKinsey & Co to carry out some research that shows how …
Rebecca Hill, 22 Jan 2018

PC sales get that post-Brexit vote sinking feeling

PC makers - ones that use middlemen to reach customers - are selling fewer boxes in the UK but generating more cash from them because of post-Brexit vote price rises and demand shifting to higher-end gear. Shipments into distributors in Britain fell 12 per cent year on year in Q4 to a little more than one million units: …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jan 2018
MOSCOW, RUSSIA, JANUARY 2017: Russian traditional toy - Matryoshka with a portrait of Putin and Trump. showcase souvenir kiosk Editorial credit: dimbar76 / Shutterstock, Inc.

Twitter breaks bad news to 677,775 twits: You were duped by Russia

Twitter says it will warn hundreds of thousands of tweeters who deliberately or inadvertently interacted with Kremlin bots during the 2016 US presidential election. The micro-blogging website said that, during the White House race, some 677,775 people followed accounts controlled by Russian propaganda groups, or liked or …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jan 2018

OnePlus minus 40,000 credit cards: Smartmobe store hacked to siphon payment info to crooks

OnePlus today confirmed thieves siphoned tens of thousands of people's credit card numbers from its online store. The Chinese phone company admitted after a week of probing that about 40,000 of its customers had their payment card details nicked while buying stuff from its web shop. Crooks were quick to start plundering …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Jan 2018

Why did I buy a gadget I know I'll never use?

Something for the Weekend, Sir? It could get steamy in here. I have stripped off the layers and am now looking to turn up the heat. I’m looking forward to an afternoon of delightful tenderness with plenty of oohs and aahs. I certainly don’t want things to be chewy. Preparing the Brussels sprouts for Christmas dinner is always a challenge. The Dabbs …
Alistair Dabbs, 19 Jan 2018

Text bomb, text bomb, you're my text bomb! Naughty HTML freezes Messages, Safari, etc

A specially crafted webpage will knacker Apple's Messages and Safari software on iOS and macOS, allowing miscreants to spread merry mischief by texting fans a link to the dastardly HTML. The page also causes other programs, such as TextEdit on Macs, to hang when opened. This is due to, from what we can tell, it being stuffed …
John Leyden, 19 Jan 2018
IpHONE x family line-up

Apple iPhone X: Two weeks in the life of an anxious user

A top-end smartphone isn’t just for Christmas: it’s for 18 months, maybe two years, two-and-a-half at a push. So here at The Reg, we let the stardust settle around Apple's iPhone X launch before putting the product to test in the field for longer than an afternoon. Fanboi squeals written up just after you peel away the …
Alistair Dabbs, 18 Jan 2018

What do Cali, New York, Hawaii, Maine and 18 other US states have in common? Fighting the FCC on net neutrality

Twenty-two US State Attorneys General filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to undo the Federal Communications Commission's rejection of net neutrality in America. The FCC – the nation's broadband watchdog – late last year approved rules titled Restoring Internet Freedom that free ISPs to discriminate against data as they see fit. The …
Thomas Claburn, 17 Jan 2018

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

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
wiretap

Microsoft finally injects end-to-end chat crypto into Skype – ish...

Microsoft has bunged end-to-end encrypted communications into beta versions of Skype using the open-source Signal protocol. Redmond has been a laggard in locking down Skype as a truly end-to-end encrypted comms system – end-to-end meaning only the people talking to each other can decrypt the chatter, leaving Microsoft and …
Iain Thomson, 11 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

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

Uncle Sam's treatment of Huawei is world-class hypocrisy – consumers will pay the price

Comment Let no one say that America's political elites are losing their talent for hypocrisy. Washington DC has welcomed the New Year with a display of selective Sinophobia – and it likely spoiled Huawei's CES. The vendor was expected to announce its first major American wireless carrier win this week, with US network AT&T …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Jan 2018
Apple Store in Zurich

Swiss cheesed off after Apple store iPhone does Samsung Galaxy Note 7 impersonation

In an inadvertent homage to Samsung's combustible Galaxy Note 7, an Apple iPhone battery overheated in an Apple Store in Zurich, Switzerland, on Tuesday morning, resulting in minor injury and prompting customers and employees to step outside while the smoke cleared. The Zurich City Police Department said it received a report …
Thomas Claburn, 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

Watt? You thought the wireless charging war was over? It ain't even begun

The inductive charging standards battle of the past few years is formally over, only weeks after Apple entered the fray. But don't be thinking the wireless charging war is over. Things might be just hotting up. Last week wireless charging company Powermat quietly joined the Wireless Power Consortium, which certifies Qi- …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Jan 2018

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 …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Jan 2018
still from trailer for stephen king lawnmower man

1980s sci-fi movies: The thrill of being not quite terrified on mum's floral sofa

2017 saw two major cinematic milestones of different extremes. One was the mega release of Blade Runner 2049, the originally unplanned sequel to, yes, Blade Runner. The other was the more overlooked anniversary of the vastly smaller Tron. Blade Runner 2049 review: Scott's vision versus Villeneuve's skill READ MORE They were a …
Michael Moran, 09 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, 08 Jan 2018

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 …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Jan 2018

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