The British app is the first of its kind to be embedded into a car manufacturer’s dashboard displays, starting in the U.K. but soon available in other English-speaking countries, too. Read more »
The European Space Agency craft has made its historic date with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and now it’s going to try send a lander onto the comet’s surface. Read more »
Days after China removed foreign security vendors from its procurement lists for government departments, it has reportedly done the same with Apple products. According to anonymous sources quoted by Bloomberg, iPads and MacBooks were on a June procurement list, but not on the final version in July. Chinese state TV had previously attacked the security of iPhones — the procurement lists don’t cover smartphones, though — and everyone from Microsoft to IBM has also come in for official criticism as China and the U.S. spar over hacking and spying. That said, the procurement lists still include HP and Dell devices.
So far, the stash of login information seems to have been mostly used for sending spam. It looks like a record-breaker, and yet another indicator that we need to come up with better ways of authenticating ourselves online. Read more »
An Austrian “class action” suit against the social network is proving very successful in picking up participants — so much so that the suit’s organizers will soon impose a cap so they can process applications. Read more »
Australia may follow the U.K. in forcing communications service providers to hang onto customers’ data as an anti-terrorism measure. Read more »
The authorities are angry that the BBC Russia site is carrying an audio interview with an artist who supports a planned — but likely illegal — march for Siberian autonomy. The BBC says it won’t back down. Read more »
A Chinese government supplier list for security firms now includes only Chinese outfits, with Symantec and Kaspersky having been shown the door. Read more »
Like peers such as Axel Springer, the German magazine-publishing giant Bauer Media has been branching out into the digital world as an investor, notably in Swedish health startup Lifesum earlier this year. Now it’s really diving in: On Monday, Bauer announced the creation of Bauer Venture Partners, with €100 million ($134 million) lined up for a decade’s worth of investments. Created alongside VC Thomas Preuss, late of Neuhaus Partners, the fund will invest in European tech startups at a range of stages. As I noted when Google came to town with a $100 million fund a few weeks back, the days of European startups complaining about a lack of local capital seem to be fast receding.
Currently crowdfunding, Sandstorm is a genuinely exciting opportunity for the creation of a viable, federation-friendly indie web-app ecosystem. It promises the benefits of running your own server, without having to actually do so — usability is the name of the game here. Read more »
The first to receive notices demanding that they join a censorship-happy register reportedly include prominent novelists and satirists, who are now expected to abide by the same rules as journalists on their blogs. Read more »
German security researchers claim to have identified a serious vulnerability in the fundamental security of USB devices. The SR Labs team is preparing a presentation for Black Hat next week in which they will demonstrate the “BadUSB” reprogramming of the firmware in USB peripherals, such as thumb drives, keyboards and even mobile devices, to allow data theft and the hijacking and surveillance of computers to which those peripherals are attached. Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell say there are no known defences against such malware, largely due to the way USB works, and possibly even no way to clean up after infection.
Facebook nemesis Max Schrems is fed up with what he sees as the ineffectiveness of the Irish data protection regulator, so he’s launched a mega-suit in his home country of Austria. Sore points include PRISM, Graph Search and general non-compliance with EU privacy law. Read more »
Wunderlist 3 is a faster, slicker, more collaboration-friendly iteration of the popular productivity app. But it’s also the first step in a strategic shift for Berlin’s 6Wunderkinder. Read more »
The EU-funded V-Charge consortium is fine-tuning a system — already successfully demonstrated at a German airport — for taking over autonomous electric vehicles and parking them very accurately, leaving them charging and ready to be summoned by the user’s app. Read more »
For better and for worse, welcome to the world without net neutrality. More people will get online, but unless they have the money to pay their way into the free web, they’ll effectively be in a walled garden. Read more »
A House of Lords committee has slammed the “right to be forgotten” ruling of Europe’s top court, as well as the interpretation of the concept that’s in the new Data Protection Directive. Read more »
The British government has given the all-clear for driverless cars to take to public roads from January 2015, when trials will begin in 3 cities. Read more »
The logo is designed to make it clear to consumers when the goods they’re carrying contain an RFID smart chip, and to bring retailers and healthcare and banking companies out of a legal “gray zone” when it comes to data protection. Read more »
After it identified a group of malicious relays that ran for over 5 months this year, Tor has issued a security advisory warning those running hidden services on its network to change up their locations, and those running Tor relays to make sure their software is up-to-date. Read more »
The online retail giant says it will be happy to stick with the 30 percent cut it already gets from Hachette ebook sales if the publisher agrees to slash its ebook pricing, a move which Amazon claims would be central to the future of reading. Read more »
The purchase will give BlackBerry a leg up in its quest to pitch to government agencies and enterprises who want secure communications. Read more »
In emerging markets, smartphones are gaining ground based on crazily low pricing. Check out this Gadget piece about recent figures from South African retail giant Pep. In the second half of 2013, 1 percent of the pre-pay phones Pep sold were smartphones. That was up to 13 percent in the first half of this year, and soon it will be 30 percent. Much of this is down to the arrival of super-cheap, WhatsApp-centric Android phones priced as low as R399 ($38). Now consider that Microsoft just killed off Asha, the low-end Nokia line that’s been its big contender in markets such as this. Those cheap new Lumias had better be really cheap.
In a report about tackling online issues like bullying and revenge porn, the Lords tentatively advised that web services should demand real names at sign-up, even if they then allow usage to be anonymous or pseudonymous. Read more »
The vulnerability is of particular concern for those with old Android devices that no longer receive firmware updates. However, Google says the Play Store remains a safe place from which to download apps. Read more »
The new “Operation Creative” tactic is designed to tackle the funding of copyright-infringement websites without making users vulnerable to malware, as an earlier pilot accidentally did. However, it’s a bit worrying to see police censoring elements of webpages. Read more »
It’s not clear why the company is being investigated, but based on earlier statements by the Chinese government it is most likely to do with the security of Windows. Read more »
When it comes to Facebook, there’s privacy and there’s privacy. And the way things are playing out, improvements on one kind of privacy could in effect act to the detriment of the other. Read more »
Censorship is always bad, right? Not to many people around our connected globe, and there is sometimes validity to their views. Unfortunately the tension between those views places a profound and perhaps dangerous dilemma at the heart of the internet. Read more »
The Baseline Study is a collaboration between the Google X “moonshot” organization and various clinical and academic partners. The work should fit in well with the health-monitoring aspects of Google’s wearable efforts. Read more »
The flaw could de-anonymize many users, but it’s not a vulnerability in Tails itself, as I2P isn’t used by default in the live operating system. Read more »
North Rhine-Westphalia has decided to enforce a ban on biker gangs’ logos being displayed on websites. It is not at all clear how this is supposed to happen. Read more »
The London startup’s product, Overleaf, lets researchers collaborate on scientific papers that use the LaTeX markup language. Read more »
The law requires web services operating in Russia to store citizens’ data in local facilities. It’s supposed to protect Russians from overseas hackers, but the censorship potential is clear. Read more »
When Yelp and the European Consumer Organisation joined the 4-year-old EU antitrust case against Google, it became pretty clear that competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia would not get his wish of settling the case before his departure later this year. And lo, it comes to pass: According to the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal, the European Commission is now planning to reopen its settlement arrangements with Google for an unprecedented fourth round of revisions. A Wednesday letter from original complainant Foundem expressed clear dissatisfaction with existing settlement proposals, and it seems the NSA mess is providing political pressure as well.
Tom Watson and David Davis are teaming up with Liberty to launch a legal challenge against the data retention law, which was barely debated but which allows the UK authorities to monitor all kinds of web services. Read more »
OpenNebula’s new “Lemon Slice” beta makes it possible to chuck VMs from OpenNebula infrastructure into more public clouds as needed. Read more »
In a significant upset for the European publishing industry, the Amsterdam district court has refused to order the closure of secondhand ebook store Tom Kabinet, saying EU law isn’t clear enough on digital media resale rights to take that step. Read more »
Suspected “pirates” will get told they’ve been spotted — but that’s it. This appears to be little more than a consumer awareness campaign, with no threatened disconnections. Read more »