tech and geek stuff
Novato oxygen equipment supplier pays $11.4 million in settlement
A major supplier of home oxygen equipment has agreed to pay $11.4 million to settle accusations that it profiteered by filing false reimbursement claims with the government and arranging kickbacks with...
Fight over "unmasking" anti-Trump Twitter account
The federal government has backed down from its legal assault on social media criticism. Twitter dropped its lawsuit against the Homeland Security Department Friday, after DHS withdrew its demand that...
Ceiling-fan efficiency provokes 1st lawsuit against Trump Energy Secretary
Tamara Dunn / Flickr reader comments 12 Share this story New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said on Monday that the state is suing the Department of Energy (DOE) for delaying the date on which...
Inside the secret history of the US government's "psychic arms race"
Skeptics may scoff at the existence of extrasensory perception, or ESP, and other paranormal powers, but the U.S. government hasn’t always been so quick to dismiss the idea. In fact, millions of dollars...
Yahoo hack indictments by feds include 2 Russian FSB officers
Four people — two officers of the Russian Federal Security Service and two hackers — have been indicted in connection with the 2014 security breach affecting at least 500 million Yahoo accounts, the U.S....
Rick Perry confirmed as Energy Department head, Ryan Zinke takes Interior post
Enlarge / WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: U.S. Secretary of Interior nominee, Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT), testifies during his confirmation hearing before Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee January...
Labor Department proposes 60-day delay of retirement savings rule
WASHINGTON — The Labor Department on Wednesday announced a proposal to push back the implementation of a controversial retirement savings rule by 60 days, giving officials more time to determine whether...
Elon Musk's Tesla and SpaceX join brief against Trump travel ban
Filed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is expected to hear oral arguments on Tuesday, the brief argues that the travel ban is not constitutional and harms U.S. businesses. Musk has drawn considerable...
Macy’s reported to be takeover target for Hudson’s Bay
Trading of Macy’s stock was briefly halted Friday after its price shot up unusually quickly, apparently fueled by a news report that the retail giant is in preliminary talks to be acquired by Hudson’s...
Microsoft to feds: Please exempt our immigrant workers hit by travel ban
EnlargePhoto: Ethan Miller/Getty Images reader comments 0 Share this story Further ReadingTech sector begins legal assault on Trump immigration order [Updated]Microsoft has formally asked the Department...
U.S. Labor department sues Google for compensation data
(Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Labor said on Wednesday it filed a lawsuit against Alphabet Inc's Google unit seeking access to the company's compensation data and documents as part of a routine compliance...
Labor department sues Google over pay data
The U.S. Department of Labor said Wednesday it filed a lawsuit against Google because the company failed to provide compensation data, terms it agreed to as a federal contractor. If Google doesn’t provide...
New Hampshire health department hack exposes addresses, Social Security numbers
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has suffered a breach that exposed personal information such as birth dates, addresses, Social Security numbers, Medicaid identification numbers...
US indicts three Romanians over $4 million cyber fraud
U.S. authorities have indicted three Romanians in a case of cyber fraud that allegedly netted at least $4 million and infected at least 60,000 computers, mostly in the United States, the U.S. Justice...
Energy Dept. won't release names of climate staffers
The Energy Department will not release the names of employees that have worked on climate change policy, an agency spokesperson said Tuesday, pushing back on requests from President-elect Donald Trump’s...
Energy Department says it won’t give Trump team list of climate change staffers
Department of Energy in Washington, DC.Begemot reader comments 0 Share this story The Department of Energy said it will not provide a list of names of staffers who worked on climate change issues to the...
Rick Perry picked to head agency he couldn’t name, but wants to nuke
Gage Skidmore reader comments 30 Share this story During a primary debate before the 2012 presidential election, then-Texas-Governor Rick Perry made a huge mistake. When asked to name the three federal...
Business News Roundup, Nov. 29
The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, cites investigations by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, arguing that Holmes’ claims were overstated and the company’s...
Industry, party figures mix with Trump loyalists for cabinet picks
Enlarge / DENVER, CO - JULY 01 Former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin speaks during the 2016 Western Conservative Summit the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, July 01, 2016. It is the...
U.S. bans Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones from airliners
WASHINGTON -- The Transportation Department is issuing an emergency order banning passengers and flight crews from bringing Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones on airline flights in response to reports of...
Come and Take It: “disintermediating the state,” one 3D-printed gun at a time
EnlargeCyrus FarivarSynopsisCome and Take It, set to be released on Oct. 11, 2016, is the memoir of Cody Wilson, the man who was dubbed one of "the most dangerous people in the world" after he released...
Cop (unsuccessfully) sued department for releasing video of him abusing suspect
Denton's first incident... reader comments 1 Share this story A federal appeals court on Monday dismissed a lawsuit brought by a fired Oklahoma police officer who sued his former department for damages...
Court: Group’s 3D printer gun files must stay offline for now
Enlarge / Software engineer Travis Lerol takes aim with an unloaded Liberator handgun in 2013.AFP / Getty Images News reader comments 1 Share this story Further ReadingDoes it violate federal export law...
Persistent Surveillance Systems has been watching Baltimore for months
Persistent Surveillance Systems reader comments 11 Share this story Further ReadingThe airborne panopticon: How plane-mounted cameras watch entire citiesA company that sends Cessna aircraft to surveil...
Lawsuit claims loan-service companies overcharged Latino families
In a suit filed in federal court in San Francisco, the Justice Department alleged that The Home Loan Auditors, Century Law Center, SOE Assistance Center, their owners and a law firm lured customers, many...
Mil Officials Push to Elevate Cyber Command Unit
For months, experts have recommended boosting the stature of Cyber Command to help speed its fight against ISIL. According to a report, progress may be coming. As cyber-defense becomes an increasingly...
US police use machine learning to curb their own violence
An AI system can look at individual officers in a more perceptive wayAlamyBy Hal HodsonNone of their colleagues may have noticed, but a computer has. By churning through the police’s own staff records,...
U.S. Cyber-Surveillance Demands Keep IT Innovation Offshore
Cyber-Surveillance, Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, Department of Justice, DOJ, Microsoft, Balibit, Facebook, T-Mobile, European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company, Lavabit, National Security Agency,...
As wildfire season ramps up, nearby drones are becoming a problem again
Samuel King Jr.Firefighters working to contain a wildfire in the San Gabriel Mountains of Southern California were temporarily thwarted this weekend when pilots for the Monrovia Fire Department (MFD)...
Clinton’s private e-mail was blocked by spam filters—so State IT turned them off
Part of an e-mail thread discussing workarounds to keep Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server from being blocked by security filters at the State Department. Part of an e-mail thread discussing workarounds...
Apple case against Samsung should go back to lower court - Justice Department
SAN FRANCISCO/SEOUL (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice asked the Supreme Court to overturn an appeals court ruling that had favored Apple Inc over Samsung Electronics Co Ltd in smartphone patent...
Comcast can’t get “gigabit” tax break that was created for Google Fiber
ComcastComcast has hit a roadblock in its attempt to get a big tax break that Oregon legislators wrote specifically for Google Fiber. It looked like Comcast had won a few months ago when Oregon's Public...
Government agencies keep sacrificing cash to zombie IT systems, GAO finds
For those of you who don't remember, this is what an 8-inch floppy disk looks like.Government Accountability OfficeSome of the most critical business systems run by US government agencies are older than...
Cops to public: Stop calling alleged drug dealer’s phone, we need to search it
Enlarge / This is the phone in question.City of Alliance Police DepartmentA small town in Ohio is pleading with its residents to halt calls to an alleged drug dealer’s seized phone—the volume of calls...
Gas delivery apps are new on-demand fad
A customer pumps gas into his car at a Mil Valley, Calif., gas station last year.(Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images) SAN FRANCISCO — The latest target for disruption by the tech industry: gas stations....
Body found in conference room at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters
A body was found in a conference room at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino this morning, according to several news reports. The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department is currently investigating...
FBI director says government 'purchased a tool' to access San Bernardino gunman's phone
The head of the FBI said Wednesday that the government had "purchased" a tool enabling investigators to access an iPhone belonging to San Bernardino gunman Syed Farook. The disclosure by James Comey...
San Francisco’s HackerOne to help Pentagon hunt bugs
While some arms of the government are arguing with Silicon Valley over encryption, other agencies are partnering with startups to make the Internet more secure. On Thursday, the Department of Defense...
FBI agrees to try to hack iPhone, iPod in Arkansas murder case - CNET
The FBI will try to crack an iPhone and iPod belonging to two teen murder suspects in Arkansas. James Martin/CNET The FBI has agreed to help prosecutors in Arkansas unlock an iPhone and iPod belonging...
Department of Justice drops Apple case after FBI cracks iPhone
The Department of Justice on Monday announced it was dropping an effort to have Apple defeat protections built into iPhone software after it succeeded in reading data off of a phone used by San Bernardino...
Cellebrite gains spotlight as iPhone hearing is put on hold
The Department of Justice’s announcement that an unnamed person or group could help the FBI unlock the iPhone at the heart of an investigation into December’s mass shooting in San Bernardino has spurred...
APNewsBreak: Google gives federal plan for self-driving car
In a letter sent Friday to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, the head of Google's self-driving car project, Chris Urmson, sketched out the idea of a federal fast track for the technology which...
Business News Roundup, March 15
The Education Department is removing a law firm hired to oversee the turnaround of schools owned by Corinthian Colleges Inc., a for-profit education company whose financial collapse had placed at risk...
Dam you! Justice Dept. to indict Iranians for probing flood control network
The gate to the Bowman Avenue Dam facility in Rye Brook, NY is locked, but the cellular modem used for its controls wasn't.GoogleIn 2013, someone gained access to the operations center for the Bowman...
Apple's rhetoric is 'false' and 'corrosive' in San Bernardino iPhone case, DOJ says
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is using some of its strongest verbiage yet in its ongoing encryption battle with Apple.In a court document filed today, the DOJ disparages Apple's defenses in the case...
Justice Department asks judge to revisit NY iPhone case
WASHINGTON The U.S. Justice Department on Monday resubmitted its case for Apple (AAPL.O) to unlock an encrypted iPhone belonging to a drug offender to a higher judge in the Eastern District of New York....
Department of Defense to test its cybersecurity with 'Hack the Pentagon' competition
The Department of Defense is inviting vetted hackers to test its cybersecurity as part of a unique “Hack the Pentagon” competition. Although similar “cyber bug bounty” initiatives have been used in the...
Just come for 6 months, Secretary of Defense tells Silicon Valley
Ashton Carter, Secretary of Defense.(Photo: DOD) SAN FRANCISCO – As a young physicist, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter learned a culture of service from his World War II-era colleagues. “They always...
US bans vaping on commercial airline flights
Mike MozartUS transportation officials announced Wednesday that vaping on commercial flights is officially banned, just as is smoking the old-fashioned way. The US Department of Transportation's decision...
Budget 2016 gives Major boost to Department of Space
NEW DELHI: In a boost to the Department of Space (DoS), the Union budget 2016-17 allocated Rs 7509 crore to the department, an increase of around Rs 550 crore as compared to the last budget. Of the Rs...
US: Sophisticated attackers hacked Ukrainian electric grid
The U.S. sent a team of cyber officials including from the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Energy, and FBI to Ukraine to work with the government and learn lessons to prevent such future...
Freedom 251 sales: Ringing Bells comes under excise, I-T dept scanner
Comments Written by PTI | Published:February 23, 2016 9:15 am Ringing Bells, the maker of Freedom 251, is facing an enquiry from the IT department. Ringing Bells, makers of the world’s cheapest smartphone...
Does it violate federal export law if a website publishes CAD files of firearms?
Defense DistributedFurther ReadingPistol plans hit P2P after creator pulls design offlineNo politics, just possible violation of arms-trafficking laws.Last Thursday, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence...
Justice Department Files Motion To Force Apple To Comply With Backdoor Request
And we’re back with another episode of our favorite privacy saga between Apple with the FBI. This time, the Department of Justice gets involved. The department has filed a motion asking Apple...
Need to call the FBI? Hacker offers you 20,000 numbers - CNET
A hacker claims to have stolen the employee information from a Department of Justice database. C.J. Burton/Corbis Personal information on nearly 30,000 government employees, including members of the Federal...
Justice, Homeland Security probe hack of U.S. agency employee data
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department are investigating a claim that personal data related to thousands of DHS and FBI employees was hacked and has...
Europe's largest department store will be split into four
Rotterdam's OMA has been given the nod to extensively renovate Berlin's famous Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) department store. The firm will mostly focus on modernizing the interior by splitting it into...
Town’s ‘burn scar’ seen from space
Yarloop's burn scar as seen from space. Picture: NASA THE devastation left by the deadly firestorm that ripped through the West Australian town of Yarloop can be seen from space, with NASA releasing a...
Your symptoms? Evolution's way of telling you to stay home
When you have a fever, your nose is stuffed and your headache is spreading to your toes, your body is telling you to stay home in bed. Feeling sick is an evolutionary adaptation according to a hypothesis...
Microsoft's Allen, Transportation Department offer $50 million in 'Smart City' contest
Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen is teaming with the U.S. Department of Transportation to offer a $50 million prize to the winner of a "Smart City" competition aimed at promoting high-tech solutions to...
Pokemon Stars: all the latest leaks from the rumored Nintendo Switch game
Though there’s been no official confirmation that a game called Pokémon Stars is coming to the Nintendo Switch, we do know that a Pokémon game will make its way to the console eventually. There are many...
The best PC games of 2017… so far
Blimey! We’re not even halfway through the year and we’ve already had a veritable smorgasbord of gaming delicacies served to us in 2017. And it’s not one genre or tier dominating the scene either, with...
Acer’s Predator Triton aims to be the king of ultra-thin gaming laptops
Acer has unveiled a pair of new gaming notebooks, including a super-thin laptop which packs an impressive amount of power for its size.The Predator Triton 700 is the first in a new series of laptops designed...
Slender: The Eight Pages
Falling into the broad category of survival horror, Slender: The Eight Pages is a first person puzzler based on the Slender Man myth. Your mission is to find the titular eight pages about the pale, faceless...
I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its component fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark