tech and geek stuff
The US government’s self-driving car council has fallen apart under Trump
Appearing at a gathering of U.S. governors this February, the Trump administration's top transportation official pledged she would work swiftly to help put more self-driving cars on the country's roads....
Prosecutors explore options with Uber
When dealing with a federal grand jury investigation, a company learns quickly that almost any document can be obtained and that prosecutors have broad authority to look into just about every dark corner...
Court: Airlines can be sued over baggage fees when bags are late
Airlines that charge baggage fees can be sued for refunds for failing to deliver a passenger’s bags when the plane lands, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday. In an indication of the potential financial...
Pesticide maker Dow Chemical tries to kill risk study
WASHINGTON — Dow Chemical is pushing a Trump administration that’s open to scrapping regulations to ignore the findings of federal scientists who point to a family of widely used pesticides as harmful...
Feds: Brooklyn prosecutor forged judges’ signatures to wiretap lover
Enlarge / Old-school wiretapping gear reader comments 17 Share this story A former county prosecutor in New York was indicted Monday on federal charges of illegally wiretapping two phones. Tara Lenich...
Judge rules in favor of “Drone Slayer,” dismisses lawsuit filed by pilot
William H. Merideth reader comments 6 Share this story Further ReadingAfter neighbor shot down his drone, Kentucky man files federal lawsuitA federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought against William...
Volkswagen pleads guilty to diesel emissions deception
DETROIT — Volkswagen pleaded guilty on Friday in federal court to criminal felony charges over the diesel emissions scandal that has roiled the German automaker for more than a year and cost it tens of...
To keep Tor hack source code secret, DOJ dismisses child porn case
Enlargescyther5 / Getty Images News reader comments 8 Share this story Further ReadingFeds may let Playpen child porn suspect go to keep concealing their source codeRather than share the now-classified technological...
Subprime auto lender facing FTC inquiry over GPS-tracking kill switches
Enlargejon collier reader comments 24 Share this story The Federal Trade Commission is investigating an auto lender that often requires subprime borrowers to have so-called GPS starter-interrupter devices...
Survey: U.S. federal land stewards feel threatened
Many of the people who take care of U.S. federal lands and wildlife refuges say their jobs have become more dangerous, according to a new survey.Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER),...
DOJ asks appeals court to delay judge’s block of Trump travel ban
Enlarge / President Donald Trump, as seen on January 27, 2017 in Arlington, Virginia. Pool Photo/Getty Images reader comments 1 Share this story Further ReadingJudge rules against DOJ in Amazon, Expedia...
Judge rules against DOJ in Amazon, Expedia case against Trump travel ban
EnlargeJim Watson/AFP/Getty Images) reader comments 23 Share this story Further ReadingTech sector begins legal assault on Trump immigration order [Updated]A federal judge in Washington has joined several...
Trump Administration Faces Huge Task of Fixing Federal Cyber-Security
Federal government agencies have the lowest security score among 17 different industry groups followed by ratings firm SecurityScorecard. As Donald President Trump takes office, his administration will...
This lawyer refinanced his student debt with a fintech start-up and deeply regrets it
After graduating from law school in 2009 with more than $250,000 in debt, Josh Garber refinanced $80,000 of his student loans with online personal finance start-up SoFi, a decision he now sorely regrets....
Theranos cuts nearly half its employees, leaves 220 folks to figure things out
Founder and CEO of Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes, at TEDMED 2014.TEDMED reader comments 0 Share this story Further ReadingIn searing $140M lawsuit, Walgreens alleges Theranos broke every promiseOn Thursday,...
Unsecure routers, webcams prompt feds to sue D-Link
Tolbxela reader comments 9 Share this story The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday sued Taiwan-based D-link in federal court. The FTC alleges that D-link routers and webcams left "thousands of consumers...
Why the U.S. may bar Google from government contracts
SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Labor Department is trying to bar Google from doing business with the federal government unless the internet company turns over confidential information about thousands of its...
Fed up with their employer’s scam, two Indian call center workers called FTC
Enlarge / This is a call center in New Dehli, India, not the Phoenix 007 operation that was busted.ILO reader comments 5 Share this story Further Reading20 arrested, 61 charged in India-based IRS phone...
Trudeau, Couillard hopeful Ottawa will reach a deal with Bombardier
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said negotiations with Bombardier Inc. are going well but he’s not saying if the two sides are close to a deal.READ MORE: Bombardier still looking for federal cash despite...
Barrett Brown released from prison, makes a beeline for McDonald’s
EnlargeFree Barrett Brown reader comments 6 Share this story Further ReadingBarrett Brown suddenly stripped of prison e-mail after talking to pressBarrett Brown, an award-winning journalist who was sentenced...
One warrant used to target thousands of child porn suspects in 120 countries
EnlargeNorth Charleston reader comments 1 Share this story Further ReadingAfter FBI briefly ran Tor-hidden child-porn site, investigations went globalA newly released federal court hearing transcript...
Judge scolds SF, Airbnb while staying fines in short-term rental case
With reprimands for both sides, a federal judge refused Thursday to let San Francisco enforce an ordinance that would subject Airbnb and other short-term home rental companies to fines and criminal penalties...
US says T-Mobile to pay $48 million settlement over disclosures
T-Mobile has agreed to pay $48 million to resolve a federal probe into whether it adequately disclosed speed and data restrictions for its "unlimited" data plan subscribers, U.S. regulators said on Wednesday....
Zuckerberg’s home; Fed video game; Twitter’s passing NFL grade
Zuckerberg’s home; Fed video game; Twitter’s passing NFL grade Palo Alto’s Architectural Review Board doesn’t want to let Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg tear down some homes he bought for $30 million. CBS...
Court rules in favour of Queensland mega-mine
The court thought otherwiseEPA/Nathan PaullANOTHER blow for coral? Australia’s federal court has rejected a bid to block a giant coal mine in central Queensland that could harm the Great Barrier Reef....
Government Agencies Using Big Data to Help With IT Security
The Cloudera survey found that 81 percent of federal employees say their agency is using big data analytics for cyber security in some capacity. Federal cyber-security is drowning in data, but big data...
Suit over AT&T iPhone data plans dismissed
On Monday, a federal appeals court ordered dismissal of the Federal Trade Commission’s suit against AT&T for reducing the data speed of iPhone customers with unlimited-data plans after they exceeded a...
NBN raid a ‘shameful attack on Parliament’
The Australian Federal Police is expected to swoop on Parliament House this morning. LABOR frontbencher Stephen Conroy is again waiting for the police to swoop. Senator Conroy today said he had been told...
Judge dismisses lawsuit accusing Twitter of supporting ISIS
NEW YORK – A federal judge in San Francisco has dismissed a lawsuit accusing Twitter of supporting the Islamic State group.The families of two men killed in Jordan claimed that Twitter had contributed...
BlackBerrys and brainlessness: A look at select federal government security reports
OTTAWA – It would appear that not even the federal government is immune from the occasional lost BlackBerry, broken window or head-scratching security concern.What follows is based on snippets from security...
The federal government just approved first private mission to the Moon
An artist's concept of Moon Express' MX-1 lander on the surface of the Moon. Moon Express The company is competing with several other entrants to win the $20 million Google Lunar X Prize. Moon Express...
Apple’s Touch ID blocks feds—armed with warrant—from unlocking iPhone
Accused Dallas pimp Martavious Banks Keys was ordered by a federal judge to unlock his iPhone with his fingerprint.Facebook via The Dallas Morning News reader comments 21 Share this story A Dallas, Texas...
Hacker who published LA Times login credentials ordered to prison
Cyrus Farivar reader comments 8 Share this story A journalist convicted of hacking was ordered Thursday to begin serving his two-year prison sentence. Matthew Keys was scheduled to begin serving his term...
PACE financing for home solar gets federal backing
The Obama administration — or at least, most of it — threw its support Tuesday behind an innovative way for homeowners to pay for solar arrays and energy-efficient renovations, even though one key federal...
Business News Roundup, June 22
A face representing “rolling on the floor laughing” and a hand taking a selfie are among 72 new emoji that will soon make their way to your smartphone. The Unicode Consortium, which controls emoji standards,...
Convicted of hacking-related crimes, reporter will stay out of prison for now
Matthew Keys talks to reporters after he was sentenced to two years in prison.Cyrus FarivarReporter Matthew Keys will not be going to federal prison today as he was scheduled to. His attorney, Jay Leiderman,...
Are Big Oil lawsuits echoing the ones against Big Tobacco?
[...] with state governments probing Exxon Mobil’s public and internal statements on climate change, lawyers warned their clients to get ready. For oil executives, the investigations into whether their...
Bleak jobs report expected to kill Fed action on interest rates
Bleak jobs report expected to kill Fed action on interest rates WASHINGTON — Hiring slowed to a near-standstill in May, sowing doubts about the economy’s health and complicating the Federal Reserve’s...
Federal IT Pros Vent FedRAMP Frustrations
The MeriTalk survey also found that despite the GSA's push to fix the process, 41 percent are unfamiliar with GSA’s plans to remedy FedRAMP. Four out of five federal cloud decision makers (79 percent)...
Theranos corrects thousands of blood-testing results, voids data
Blood-testing startup Theranos Inc. said it sent doctors and patients tens of thousands of corrected test results and voided two years of data from its devices, a devastating blow for the company that...
Facebook's politics under scrutiny but federal oversight seen unlikely
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg prepares to meet conservative leaders on Wednesday to discuss allegations about political bias at the social media website, one thing...
Indefinite prison for suspect who won’t decrypt hard drives, feds say
Christiaan ColenFederal prosecutors urged a federal appeals court late Monday to keep a child-porn suspect behind bars—where he already has been for seven months—until he unlocks two hard drives that...
Obama Signs Law Boosting Federal Trade Secret Protections
NEWS ANALYSIS: Trade secret protections have been around for a long time, but the new Protect Trade Secrets Act provides a wider path to federal court. President Barack Obama signed a new federal law...
CDC secretly sanctioned multiple times for mishandling bioterror pathogens
WikimediaThings aren’t going well for two of the country’s top health agencies—the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tuesday, USA Today reported that the...
New rule allows feds to hack millions of computers more easily
Critics say the government could greatly expand its ability to hack the computers of suspected criminals and victims under a federal rule change set to take effect in December.(Photo: Getty Images/Ingram...
U.S. agency says court found Amazon liable for kid in-app charges
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal judge has ruled that Amazon.com was liable for billing parents for unauthorized charges that children made within apps, the Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday....
Federal judge rules FBI didn’t have proper warrant to hack child porn site
A federal judge ruled today that the FBI did not obtain the proper warrant before hacking a child porn website and that the evidence it collected against one of the defendants, Alex Levin, must be...
Judge invalidates warrant that let feds hack Tor-using child porn suspect
WikipediaFurther ReadingFeds want an expanded ability to hack criminal suspects’ computersProposed rules to let one judge authorize "remote access" essentially anywhere.A federal judge in Massachusetts...
Interim guidelines to the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act
Despite the objections of many privacy advocates and security professionals, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) is now the law of the land. Slipped into the 2016 federal omnibus spending...
Regulators plan to revoke Theranos’ federal license and ban founder Elizabeth Holmes
Theranos might find itself homeless in the next little bit. A federal agency plans to force founder Elizabeth Holmes out of her blood analysis startup for two years and take away the California lab’s...
How a Federal Trade Secrets Law Would Impact Silicon Valley
NEWS ANALYSIS: Intellectual property owners are moving away from copyright and patents in favor of a forthcoming law that has more staying power. Trade secrets are now on a fast track toward a federal...
Appeals court halts class action on whether Uber drivers are employees
Adam FagenA federal class action essentially asking whether Uber drivers should be classified as employees instead of contractors was dealt a major blow when a federal appeals court put the brakes on...
Top Silk Road 2.0 admin “DoctorClu” pleads guilty, could face 8 years in prison
Judit KleinFurther ReadingAlleged “right hand man” to Silk Road 2.0 leader arrested in Seattle"You're not going to find much of a bigger fish than me," Brian Farrell told feds.Last week, a federal judge...
FTC sues VW over false claims of ‘clean diesel’ in ads
WASHINGTON — A federal consumer watchdog sued Volkswagen on Tuesday, charging the company made false claims in commercials promoting its “Clean Diesel” vehicles as environmentally friendly. The German...
Federal Government Focuses on Increasing IT Security Spend
The Vormetric report noted that in summary, U.S. federal agencies are doing many of the right things—they just need to do more. The top category for increased spending over the next 12 months among U.S....
Google gives federal plan to clear roadblocks for its self-driving car
Comments By: AP | Los Angeles | Published:March 19, 2016 11:19 am Google wants Congress to create new federal powers that would let the tech giant bring to market a self-driving car sooner than expected...
Business News Roundup, March 18
Williams-Sonoma said late Wednesday that it will cut 5 percent of its corporate workforce, as the San Francisco retailer tries to revamp its supply chain and bolster flagging sales growth. The layoffs...
Hoverboards banned again...this time not for fires - CNET
Enlarge ImageThe self-balancing scooters already have a fiery reputation.Screenshot by Sean Hollister/CNETHoverboards are facing another ban, but this time it's not because they're known to burst into...
Fed Judge Rules for Apple in Drug Case Involving Encryption
A federal magistrate judge on Monday ruled that Apple did not have to unlock an encrypted iPhone used in a federal drug case. The ruling gave the company a key victory against the Department of Justice...
Apple vs. Fbi: Tech giants line up to support Apple in court
A growing list of tech companies have vowed to stand behind Apple in court as it asks a federal magistrate to reverse her order forcing the company to help the FBI hack an iPhone belonging to one of the...
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