Android gives Google a search monopoly? Not so fast, says judge


That bundling effectively shuts out rival search engines from bidding for premium app placement on handset home screens, the suit claims, which keeps the prices of smartphones artificially high. But in a hearing on Thursday, Judge Beth Labson Freeman of the US District Court of the Northern District of California said she would most likely dismiss the suit because its legal theory is too vague, Reuters reports. "The speculative nature of the damages is really quite concerning to me," the judge reportedly said, though she added that she would give prosecutors the opportunity to present additional facts to substantiate their case. The lawsuit seeks damages on behalf of … [Read more...]

New fear: ISIS killers use ‘digital AK-47′ malware to hunt victims


The booby-trapped emails purport to come from a Canadian expat group that wants to help the fight against ISIS. The messages ask the recipients to check over a report about the actions of the religious fanatics. Clicking on the URL leads to a file-sharing account with TempSend, and downloads an archive called While the zipped folder does contain a few maps, it also holds some simple but dangerous spyware called AdobeR1.exe: when run, it emails the infected system's public IP address to its masters. There's no backdoor or other sort of remote access – the computer simply emails out its network address whenever it boots up. Just getting the IP address may not … [Read more...]

Banish the fear of Big Brother when you bring in BYOD


How, then, can you allay your users' fears and help them accept, and even embrace, the idea of using their own phone under corporate control? Although I will mention Casper Suite from time to time, most of the points I will discuss are down to the capabilities of the device operating system rather than the mobile device management (MDM) service itself. Setting profiles If you have a personal PC running Windows 8 Pro, part of the operating system is a chunk of code that allows it to join to an Active Directory domain. If you are a home user you probably don't care about this as you are unlikely to be using a domain at home, but the features are there. Now, if you have an … [Read more...]

Red Hat CFO reaches for eject cord after Street-beating performance


Revenues were up 15 per cent from the same period a year ago, and during a conference call with financial analysts on Thursday, Peters said Red Hat saw double-digit growth across all of its major geographic regions during the quarter. "Our strong Q3 results marked the eleventh straight quarter of mid-to-high teens revenue growth as we continued to reinforce and expand our strategic relationship with our customers," CEO Jim Whitehurst said in a canned statement. As in past quarters, most of those dollars came from software subscriptions. Total subscription revenues for the period were $394.7m, which was up 15.2 per cent from a year ago. But if the training and services … [Read more...]

Microsoft drops early Chrissie pressie on Mac Office fanbois


The updates aren't enormous: the calendar now supports colours, there's better DRM support and some new collaboration tools, the ability to “Add alt text to images when composing” and the “top crashes” have been “fixed”. The bad news is that the update can only be acquired through Office 365: Microsoft's announcement of the update suggests there's no way Office for Mac users who've not signed up for software-by-subscription to get their paws on the code. On the upside, that Microsoft sees a need to boost Outlook for Mac's collaborative powers suggests there's decent demand for Office among the fruit-puting community. Either way, it's a nice little stocking-stuffer for … [Read more...]

Net Neut: Verizon flips the bird to FCC on peering deal crackdown


ISPs say traffic-heavy websites should pay towards the bandwidth they consume and sign deals for dedicated interconnects; net neutrality campaigners want everyone to exchange network packets freely so the playing field is level for startups and big biz. Verizon and Netflix, for example, have struck deals to carry vast amounts of video to viewers – and ISPs wouldn't want any part of the government wrecking lucrative contracts. "Some have urged the Commission to adopt a final rule in the Open Internet that would regulate interconnection agreements for the exchange of internet traffic," wrote William Johnson, a Verizon veep and associate general counsel, in the letter. … [Read more...]

Woz moves to Oz


Better still, the Fin reports Woz may well chose to live in Tasmania, a state often referred to as “The Apple Isle” thanks to a cool climate that makes growing cider-stuff sensible. If Woz does make the move, he won't lack for distinguished company: Violent Femmes bassist Brian Ritchie moved to Tasmania a few years back and now hangs out with gambling-hack-millionaire-turned-art-curator David Walsh at the technology-infused Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). It's not all alternative music and hipster galleries in Tasmania: Wozniak's new home has Australia's highest unemployment rate. On the upside, the island boasts a stunning sub-alpine region, is a source of magnificent … [Read more...]

Yet another mid-air fight nearly causes plane to make emergency landing


First, there was a crying baby. Two women reportedly complained to another passenger, Chan Juan Sung, that her baby was making too much noise, and that she should do something about it. Chan shouted back, and at one point, the two other women — who were sitting in front of Chan — responded by reclining their seats all the way back. Soon, the fight on Air China Flight 433 from Chongqing to Hong Kong escalated Thursday to the point where the pilot reportedly threatened to land the plane. See also: The worst things people do on airplanes, ranked Xiong Wan, 45, witnessed the entire scene, according to Daily Mail Online. "I was sitting right next to them when they started … [Read more...]

White House needs a bigger fence to keep out ‘pranksters,’ report says


The Department of Homeland Security released a report on Thursday (PDF) outlining the need for a new, taller fence at the White House. See also: How You Can Visit the White House Without Going to Washington The recommendation came alongside a slew of ideas to beef up the Secret Service, including personnel training and new leadership, but the fence, the report said, "must be addressed immediately." The Protective Missions Panel released the report on Thursday, listing changes in the White House fence as a necessary improvement to keep out the "pranksters and the mentally ill" who can climb the current fence. A better fence can provide time, and time is crucial to the … [Read more...]

Obama dials in to ‘Ask the Governor’ talk show


Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has fielded calls on hundreds of subjects during his monthly "Ask the Governor" radio show. But this call was one of a kind. "Uh, Governor, this is Barack Obama, formerly of Somerville," the caller began Thursday. "I've got a few complaints about service in and around the neighborhood, but I've moved down south since that time." See also: Massachusetts Is the Best State for Entrepreneurs The president was calling in to WGBH-FM to congratulate Patrick, a friend and political ally, who's wrapping up two terms in office. Obama once lived in the Boston suburb of Somerville, while attending Harvard Law School. Patrick sounded surprised and … [Read more...]

NASA reveals what carbon dioxide looks like from space


SAN FRANCISCO — NASA revealed the first-ever images of the global atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, the key long-lived global warming gas. The imagery, taken over the course of three months, reveals details about springtime biomass being burned in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as photosynthesis from plants worldwide. The data comes from a new NASA satellite known as the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) that was launched on July 2 of this year. At a media briefing on Thursday at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, as well as several … [Read more...]

Children’s films are filled with more trauma than adult dramas, study finds


Heads up, parents — you might want to take out the Finding Nemo DVD and replace it with something a bit less violent. Consider There Will Be Blood. An exaggeration, sure, but a new study out of the University College London and the University of Ottawa has found that primary characters in children's films are 2.5 times more likely to die than characters in films for adults. See also: 12 Movie Deaths That Shattered Your Childhood That's just regular old death, though. On-screen murders are 2.78 times more likely to occur in children's films. Those numbers get more dismal for parental figures in children's films, who were found to be five times more likely to die than … [Read more...]

You can now explore Google Street View with virtual reality


Google Cardboard, the tech giant's low-cost virtual reality headset that's literally made of cardboard and works with phones, is now compatible with Street View. Google announced on Tuesday that users can wear the headset and experience Google Maps Street View in a new, immersive way. See also: Virtual Paul McCartney app is mind-blowingly cool The headset, which costs as little as $10 and is available for purchase online (or you can make one at home), works with any Android phone that can fit within the holder — however, 4.7-inch devices are the limit. Users then open Street View in Google Maps on the phone, double-tap a lower-right, look-around icon on the corner of the … [Read more...]

Congress blocks feds from meddling with medical marijuana


In Congress, it's rare for a spending bill to move forward without a deluge of last-minute additions for politicians' pet projects. This year's $1.1 trillion spending bill, signed yesterday by President Obama, is no different. See also: 5 Ways Congress' Proposed Budget Could Affect You But while an amendment to water down banking regulations is drawing scrutiny, two congressmen from California quietly inserted wording that removes funding for the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration to interfere with states where medical marijuana is legal. It's the first legislation enacted by Congress that curtails the government's ability to enforce penalties … [Read more...]

Massive downtown LA inferno labeled arson


LOS ANGELES — The massive inferno that ripped through an apartment complex under construction in downtown, melted signs on an adjacent freeway and blew out the windows of nearby buildings has been classified as arson by local and federal investigators. The Dec. 8 blaze at the seven-story Da Vinci apartment complex caused between $20 million and $30 million in damage, Erik Scott, a public information officer with the Los Angeles Fire Department, said on Twitter. See also: Massive fire breaks out in downtown LA, closes freeway Investigators from @LAFD & #ATF determine the massive Dec. 8th #DTLAfire was arson. $20-$30 million in damage. — Erik … [Read more...]