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Thomas Claburn

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US politicos wake up to danger of black-box algorithms shaping all corners of American life

In Washington, DC, on Wednesday, academics and policy wonks warned US Congressional representatives about the perils of inscrutable algorithms, a red flag entangled by tangential worries about privacy, data collection, and net neutrality. As framed in a letter submitted by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, democracy …

Apple iOS 11 security 'downgrade' decried as 'horror show'

After rapidly patching a flaw that allowed anyone with access to a High Sierra Mac to obtain administrative control, Apple still has more work to do to make its software secure, namely iOS 11, it was claimed this week. Oleg Afonin, a security researcher for password-cracking forensic IT biz Elcomsoft, in a blog post on …
Oracle acrobatics in the cloud

Oracle rival chides UK councils for pricey database indulgence

County and district councils in the UK – Blighty's municipal governments – risk software bills they can't afford if they use Oracle databases, competing vendor TmaxSoft argues. That turns out to be almost all of them. TmaxSoft, which makes a relational database called Tibero, contends that in an era of austerity, the public …
AWS Cloud9 IDE

Will you be on Cloud9? AWS emits cloudy code editor it nabbed last year

AWS re:Invent Amid its torrent of product announcements tied to its re:Invent conference, Amazon Web Services on Thursday introduced AWS Cloud9, a browser-based code editor with AWS integration. Without the AWS prefix, Cloud9 can be had as open source software and on Google Cloud Platform. AWS acquired the company Cloud9 in July, 2016 and …

From DevOps to No-Ops: El Reg chats serverless computing with NYT's CTO

DevOps, a combination of development and operations, may have to be rethought because ops is on the outs. In recent years, those who develop applications and those who manage the machines hosting the apps have tended to tended to be distinct. Even recently, as physical machines have given way to virtual machines and containers …
Thomas Claburn, 30 Nov 2017
AWS CEO Andy Jassy

We survived today's Amazon news avalanche to bring you this: Yes, a managed Kubernetes service will be a thing

AWS re:Invent On Wednesday in Las Vegas, USA, at Amazon Web Services' sixth annual re:Invent dog-and-pony show, CEO Andy Jassy fulfilled industry expectations and introduced a managed Kubernetes service – Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS). If you blinked, you might have missed it. Presiding over an epic product dump, Jassy couldn't linger on …
Thomas Claburn, 29 Nov 2017
gag

Twitter's fight to kill Uncle Sam's censorship of spying numbers edges closer to victory

Twitter has won another round in its long-running campaign to publish numbers that the US government insists should be secret. In October 2014, the microblogging and incitement platform filed a lawsuit against the Feds for permission to publish, as part of its government surveillance transparency report, the number of secret …
Thomas Claburn, 29 Nov 2017
Uber self-driving car on a transport truck

Uber hack coverup: Your next US state lawsuit arrives in four minutes

Challenged on Monday by US senators to explain its failure to report that it had allowed hackers to grab records on 57 million customers and drivers and then paid hush money in an attempted year-long coverup, Uber has been presented with its second state-backed lawsuit for not alerting authorities to the pilfering. The first …
Thomas Claburn, 29 Nov 2017
Uber office in San Francisco

Uber, quit shoveling money into the fire for one second and explain that hack – US senators

Five US senators on Monday asked ersatz taxi biz and lawsuit magnet Uber to provide more details about how it allowed hackers in 2016 to pilfer personal information for 57 million customers and drivers. The data theft, revealed last week and not to be confused with a May 2014 security blunder, led to a $100,000 bung to the …
Thomas Claburn, 28 Nov 2017

Facebook, Google, IBM, Red Hat give GPL code scofflaws 60 days to behave – or else

Facebook, Google, IBM, and Red Hat on Monday will give free-software license violators two months to mend their ways before going nuclear. The tech giants, which release a fair amount of GNU-GPL-licensed source code, have committed to extend the GPLv3's 60-day "cure period" to license compliance errors under GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1 …
Thomas Claburn, 27 Nov 2017
Trimming hedges

FCC boss Ajit Pai emits his net neutrality extermination plan

Ajit Pai, head of America's communications watchdog the FCC, has unveiled his "plan to repeal the Obama Administration's heavy-handed regulation of the Internet," referred to by critics as an anti-consumer giveaway to large communications companies. The 210-page document bears the title "Restoring Internet Freedom," which …
Thomas Claburn, 22 Nov 2017

Crypto-jackers enlist Google Tag Manager to smuggle alt-coin miners

Crypto-jackers using Coin Hive code to secretly mine Monero via computing power supplied by the unsuspecting have found Google Tag Manager to be a convenient means of distribution. Security researcher Troy Mursch told The Register that he recently found Coin Hive's free-to-use JavaScript running on the Globovisión website – …
Thomas Claburn, 22 Nov 2017
Android 6 Marshmallow Logo

Wait, did Oracle tip off world to Google's creepy always-on location tracking in Android?

Analysis Having evidently forgotten about that Street View Wi-Fi-harvesting debacle, Google has admitted constantly collecting the whereabouts of Android devices regardless of whether or not they have location tracking enabled. Between 2007 and 2010, during the debut of its Street View service, Google gathered all the Wi-Fi network …
Thomas Claburn, 22 Nov 2017
Haswell E5-2600 series die

Intel finds critical holes in secret Management Engine hidden in tons of desktop, server chipsets

Intel today admitted its Management Engine (ME), Server Platform Services (SPS), and Trusted Execution Engine (TXE) are vulnerable to multiple worrying security flaws, based on the findings of external security experts. The firmware-level bugs allow logged-in administrators, and malicious or hijacked high-privilege processes, …
Thomas Claburn, 20 Nov 2017
Workers car pooling

Uber slapped with $9m fine for letting dodgy drivers pick up punters

Colorado watchdogs today hit Uber subsidiary Rasier with an $8.9m fine for allowing drivers with felony convictions and/or major moving violations to pick up folks using the ride-hailing app. Rasier is the part of Uber that contracts with drivers. The US state's Public Utilities Commission (PUC) identified 57 Uber drivers …
Thomas Claburn, 20 Nov 2017

Open-source defenders turn on each other in 'bizarre' trademark fight sparked by GPL fall out

Special report Two organizations founded to help and support developers of free and open-source software have locked horns in public, betraying a long-running quarrel rumbling mostly behind the scenes. On one side, the Software Freedom Law Center, which today seeks to resolve licensing disputes amicably. On the other, the Software Freedom …
Thomas Claburn, 20 Nov 2017

Anonymized location-tracking data proves anything but: Apps squeal on you like crazy

Anonymized location data won't necessarily preserve your anonymity. M. Keith Chen, associate professor of economics at UCLA's Anderson School of Management, and Ryne Rohla, a doctoral student at Washington State University, accomplished this minor miracle of data science by assuming that the GPS coordinates transmitted by …
Thomas Claburn, 17 Nov 2017

US govt to use software to finger immigrants as potential crims? That's really dumb – boffins

A group of 54 computer scientists and academic researchers on Thursday asked the US Department of Homeland Security to rethink its plan for employing software algorithms to determine whether immigrants to the country should be admitted or deported. To implement various White House executive orders to limit immigration through …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Nov 2017
code on-screen

Microsoft touts real-time over-the-network pair programming in Visual Studio, GitHub ships it

Microsoft and GitHub on Wednesday announced real-time collaboration in their respective code editors, almost as if they'd been collaborating. Microsoft offered a placeholder rather than a product. Said program tools director Amanda Silver: "We’re working on 'Visual Studio Live Share,' which enables developers using Visual …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Nov 2017
The Internet Archive in San Francisco

Inside Internet Archive: 10PB+ of storage in a church... oh, and a little fight to preserve truth

At the Internet Archive's headquarters in San Francisco, California, on Wednesday, technologists, educators, archivists, and others fact-oriented folks gathered to discuss how they and the like-minded can save news from the memory hole – a conceit conjured by George Orwell to describe a political mechanism for altering the truth …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Nov 2017
A confused man

Now Oracle stiffs its own sales reps to pocket their overtime, allegedly

Oracle was sued on Tuesday by a former sales rep for allegedly failing to pay overtime wages, in violation of America's federal Fair Labor Standards Act and Texas state law. The civil lawsuit, filed on behalf of plaintiff Daniel Wilson in district court in Austin, Texas, claims Oracle has been directing its sales staff – …
Thomas Claburn, 15 Nov 2017
Trying to catch money in a net

Twitter: Finally, there's an affordable way to pay us actual money

Hoping to extinguish its eleven-year cash bonfire and finally turn a profit, Twitter has introduced premium APIs to allow businesses to make better use of its trove of troll tweets – for a fee. The hoi polloi seldom pay for anything online but developers, in particular those working for big biz, can be convinced to ante up in …
Thomas Claburn, 14 Nov 2017
Uber safety marketing

Uber sued over alleged rapes as #MeToo web rally reveals more sex assault claims

Two unnamed women allegedly raped by Uber drivers sued the transit app biz today for sexual assault and unlawful business practices. The complaint, filed in a US district court in San Francisco, California, today seeks damages, stricter screening for drivers, insurance coverage for riders, and disclosure of the number of …
Thomas Claburn, 14 Nov 2017
red_hat_648

Red Hat opens its ARMs to Enterprise Linux... er, wait, perhaps it's the other way round

Red Hat Enterprise Linux for ARM reached general availability Monday, underscoring the growing competition confronted by Intel's x86-64 platform in the data center. The corporate Linux vendor first presented a preview of Linux for ARM in 2015, although the software has been in the works for a number of years. Since that …
Thomas Claburn, 14 Nov 2017
Illustration of a small person seated by giant feet

You, Google. Get in here and explain all this personal data slurping – Missouri AG subpoena

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley on Monday said his office is investigating Google's business practices, adding fuel to the long smouldering antitrust fire that the Chocolate factory has been unable to extinguish. The ad biz has been trying to smother the flames for almost a decade now, fanned at first by Microsoft's …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Nov 2017

Biting the hand that feeds IT ? 1998–2017

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