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Older people are increasingly going online, in part thanks to tablets, according to the U.K. telecommunications regulator. In one of its periodical media use reports, Ofcom noted on Tuesday that 42 percent of those aged over 65 accessed the web in 2013, up from 33 percent in 2012. The regulator linked this with an increase in tablet usage within the 65-74 demographic from 5 percent to 17 percent — I would assume that those older users who are less tech-friendly find tablets simpler to use and easier to maintain than full-blown PCs. More generally, the proportion of adults accessing the internet through a tablet jumped from 16 percent to 30 percent between 2012 and 2013.

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On Thursday Turkey lifted its ban on Twitter and on Friday the same looks set to happen regarding YouTube — sort of. According to reports, an Ankara court decided that blocking the whole of YouTube was overdoing it; the court said only 15 contentious videos should remain blocked. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reportedly said he would grudgingly comply. His social media crackdown followed multiple leaks of purported evidence showing corruption all the way to the top of the Turkish administration, though the YouTube ban may have been triggered by a leaked phonecall in which officials discussed possible military action in Syria.

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MariaDB 10 is out, featuring a “Connect engine” that makes it easier to handle data from both traditional SQL databases and more web-scale NoSQL systems. The new functionality merits new editions of the MariaDB Enterprise and Enterprise Cluster products. Read more »

In Brief

Security outfit RSA has already had its name tarnished by the fact that the NSA paid it to distribute a mechanism (the Dual_EC_DRGB “Dual Elliptic Curve” random number generator) that turned out to be flawed. Now Reuters reports that RSA, these days part of EMC, also distributed a second NSA-recommended tool, the “Extended Random” extension, which researchers say made it easier to crack a version of the Dual Elliptic Curve software. Although Extended Random was included in the Bsafe security suite alongside Dual_EC_DRGB, it was sparsely adopted and was removed in the last 6 months. Again, RSA denies deliberately weakening its products.

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Good news for Turkish Twitter users: an Ankara court has ordered the lifting of a blockade on the social network, according to local reports. The ban, which drew international condemnation, came in 6 days ago as Turkey’s administration tried to put the lid on a growing corruption scandal. Citizens were able to bypass it fairly easily at first, but new forms of blocks made access very difficult. According to Wednesday’s reports, the telecoms regulator that instituted the blocks may appeal the ruling, but access will need to be restored in the interim, making this a “stay of execution”.

In Brief

The French consumer rights group UFC-Que Chosir has sued Facebook, Google and Twitter in the Paris high court over their terms of service and data collection practices. In a statement on Tuesday, the group said the French-language terms were inaccessible and sometimes — quelle horreur! — linked to pages in English. UFC-Que Chosir is also concerned about the social networking services not seeking proper user consent before allowing others to exploit their data. The claims seem rather broad, though France does have a track record of cracking down on U.S. web firms’ privacy violations as hard as it can, so the case may turn out to have legs.

In Brief

MtGox really is a gift that keeps on giving: now in the throes of bankruptcy, the audit-averse Bitcoin exchange said late Thursday that it has found 200,000 bitcoins in an “old-format” wallet it previously thought was empty. That means it has only lost 650,000 bitcoins – 550,000 of which belong to its customers — rather than the 850,000 it previously thought had been pilfered by thieves (“evidence” that MtGox still has almost a million bitcoins is deeply suspect, accompanied as it was by fraudulent malware). The re-found bitcoins are worth around $116 million, which will interest the courts handling MtGox’s bankruptcy in Japan and the U.S., and customers clamoring for their money back.

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