mrspoonsi writes: British singer Morrissey has claimed he was sexually assaulted by a security officer at San Francisco International Airport, who he says "groped" him. "I went through the usual airport security procedure including the stand-up 'scanner', and all was well — no bleeps and nothing unusual," wrote Morrissey. "Before I could gather my belongings from the usual array of trays I was approached by an 'airport security officer' who stopped me, crouched before me and groped my penis and testicles." The singer — who has now filed a sexual assault complaint — also detailed an exchange with the security officer who he said was challenged over "sexually groping" him. Morrissey said he replied to each statement with "that's just your opinion." An official spokesman for the Transport Security Administration (TSA) said security camera footage confirmed that nothing out of the ordinary had occurred. "TSA takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and strives to treat every passenger with dignity and respect," said TSA spokesman Mike England. "Upon review of closed circuit TV footage, TSA determined that the supervised officer followed standard operating procedures in the screening of this individual." He added that the arrival of a second person to screen Morrissey was normal, and helped "to ensure the passenger does not have threat items, such as explosives concealed under clothing."
mrspoonsi writes: Former Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have signed up to present a new show on Amazon's streaming video service. The trio will front three series of a new motoring programme for Amazon Prime, with the first season to be made available worldwide in 2016. The move follows their departure from the hit BBC Two show earlier this year. Clarkson's contract was not renewed following an "unprovoked physical attack" on a Top Gear producer. His co-hosts then followed him in leaving the show. They will now make the unnamed new programme with former Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman, who also quit the BBC following the "fracas". In a statement from Amazon, Clarkson said: "I feel like I've climbed out of a biplane and into a spaceship."
mrspoonsi writes: Right on schedule, Microsoft has begun prompting users of Windows 7 and 8.1 to upgrade their machines to Windows 10. The process has begun in the parts of the world where it is already July 29th; this includes China. The company began taking reservations for Windows 10 back in June, and as we reported earlier this morning, it is already starting to pre-load the OS on to those machines. While not everyone will get the OS tomorrow through the upgrade program, it does appear that there will be quite a few users who will be able to install the OS as a free upgrade on the 29th. Windows 10 is expected to be installed on a billion devices within the next three years and to achieve that milestone, they will need to upgrade a significant number of devices to the new OS from Windows 7 or 8.1.
mrspoonsi writes: After much fanfare and publicity on the company's part, Apple's conception of a personal assistant is now ingrained in popular culture; you won't be able to find a comedy show without at least one joke about Siri and for good reason. Using natural language to communicate with our gadgets is still a relatively new technology and, as a result, often leads to particularly hilarious situations. Today, we have the latest in a string of bizarre responses by the virtual assistant. Tell Siri to "charge my phone to 100%" and she will immediately call 911, giving you just 5 seconds of respite to stop the virtual assistant from sending out an SOS. There is no official word on what the cause of this is but the two possibilities are that it's either a bug or a hidden function that allows you to call the police in an emergency. There has been no official communication from Apple referring to such a feature, however.
mrspoonsi writes: Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider have announced the discovery of a new particle called the pentaquark. It was first predicted to exist in the 1960s but, much like the Higgs boson particle before it, the pentaquark eluded science for decades until its detection at the LHC. The discovery, which amounts to a new form of matter, was made by the Hadron Collider's LHCb experiment. During the mid-2000s, several teams claimed to have detected pentaquarks, but their discoveries were subsequently undermined by other experiments. "There is quite a history with pentaquarks, which is also why we were very careful in putting this paper forward," Patrick Koppenburg, physics co-ordinator for LHCb at Cern, told BBC News. "It's just the word 'pentaquark' which seems to be cursed somehow because there have been many discoveries that were then superseded by new results that showed that previous ones were actually fluctuations and not real signals." LHCb spokesperson Guy Wilkinson commented: "The pentaquark is not just any new particle It represents a way to aggregate quarks, namely the fundamental constituents of ordinary protons and neutrons, in a pattern that has never been observed before in over fifty years of experimental searches. The LHC powered up again in April following a two-year shutdown to complete a programme of repairs and upgrades.
mrspoonsi writes: A 17 year old by the name of Julius "zeekill" Kivimaki has been convicted of 50,700 computer crimes charges in relation to a series of hacks committed by the infamous computer hacking gang Lizard Squad. The teen was given a two-year suspended prison sentence and ordered to fight cybercrime. Lizard Squad has taken credit for a slew of big hacks over the last few years, including a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on the PlayStation and Xbox networks, as well as a reported assault on the anonymizing communication service Tor.
mrspoonsi writes: Google says it is "appalled" that its new Photos app mistakenly labelled a black couple as being "gorillas". Its product automatically tags uploaded pictures using its own artificial intelligence software. The error was brought to its attention by a New York-based software developer who was one of the people pictured in the photos involved. Google was later criticised on social media because of the label's racist connotations. "This is 100% not OK," acknowledged Google executive Yonatan Zunger after being contacted by Jacky Alcine via Twitter. "[It was] high on my list of bugs you 'never' want to see happen." Mr Zunger said Google had already taken steps to avoid others experiencing a similar mistake.
mrspoonsi writes: If we were to tell you that your machine downloaded a file called “Disable_Windowsupdate.exe” you’d probably think we were talking about malware or viruses. But the file in question actually comes from Samsung and is designed to “help your windows configuration settings”. Yes, that’s right; Samsung, through its own bloatware, infects your device installs a program whose sole purpose is to disable Windows Update. This was discovered by a researcher and Microsoft MVP, when taking a look at SWUpdate, Samsung’s bloatware that comes with all their PCs. Samsung’s reasoning goes something like this "When you enable Windows updates, it will install the Default Drivers for all the hardware no laptop which may or may not work. For example if there is USB 3.0 on laptop, the ports may not work with the installation of updates. So to prevent this, SW Update tool will prevent the Windows updates."
mrspoonsi writes: Companies that move their profits overseas to avoid tax will be subject to a "diverted profits tax" from April, the chancellor has said. In his final Budget before the election, George Osborne said firms that aid tax evasion will also face new penalties and criminal prosecutions. The so-called "Google Tax" is designed to discourage large companies diverting profits out of the the UK to avoid tax. "Let the message go out: this country's tolerance for those who will not pay their fair share of taxes has come to an end," Mr Osborne said. In 2012 it emerged that internet giant Google avoided tax on £10bn UK revenue in 2011 by doubling the amount of money put into a shell company in Bermuda. Doing so helped it avoid £1bn in corporation tax. Under the new tax regime, companies with an annual turnover of £10m will have to tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) if they think their company structure could make them liable for diverted profit tax. Once HMRC has assessed the structures, and decided how much profit has been artificially diverted from the UK, multinationals will have only 30 days to object to the 25% tax.
mrspoonsi writes: The US government has developed spyware that invades the firmware of hard drives and eavesdrops on everything the user does. The software has been found on the computers around the world. The latest spyware software was discovered by the Russian computer security company, Kaspersky Lab, which found computers of government and military institutions, telecommunication companies, banks, energy companies, nuclear researchers, media, and Islamic activists were infected. The software was found in 30 countries, including Iran, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria. But only a few high-valued computers were infected. The firmware of hard drives is highly valued among spies and hackers as any malicious software that is stored there runs automatically every time a computer is turned on and the software is near impossible to remove, even when the hard drive is wiped completely. The spyware software works on most major hard drive manufacturers, including Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba, IBM, Micron and Samsung.
mrspoonsi writes: Kim Dotcom's US lawyer has denied that a guilty plea by one of the Megaupload's former employees has major implications for his client's case. Andrus Nomm was sentenced to a year in jail after pleading guilty on Friday to conspiracy to commit copyright infringement while working for the now defunct file-sharing site. The US is currently trying to extradite Mr Dotcom, who founded Megaupload, from New Zealand to stand trial. Mr Dotcom denies wrongdoing. The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has alleged that Megaupload's staff had "operated websites that wilfully reproduced and distributed infringing copies of copyrighted works" over a period of five years, causing more than $400m (£260m) of harm to copyright owners. Nomm — a 36-year-old Estonian citizen — agreed to this damages estimate as part of his plea, according to a press release from the DoJ. He had been living in the Netherlands before he travelled to Virginia to make the deal with the US authorities. The DoJ added that Nomm had acknowledged that through his work as a computer programmer for Megaupload, he had become aware of copyright-infringing material being stored on its sites, including films and TV shows that had contained FBI anti-piracy warnings. It said he had also admitted to having downloaded copyright-infringing files himself. "This conviction is a significant step forward in the largest criminal copyright case in US history," said assistant attorney general Leslie Caldwell.
mrspoonsi writes: A hacker who hijacked computers to make death threats has been jailed for eight years. Yusuke Katayama played a game of cat and mouse with the authorities, leading them to make numerous wrongful arrests. Katayama's campaign highlighted the difficulties the country's police force has had in dealing with cyber crime. "He committed the crime, and the purpose of it was [for police] to make wrongful arrests," said presiding judge Katsunori Ohno at Tokyo District Court, adding that Katayama's actions had been "vicious". Throughout 2012, the 32-year-old used a virus to gain control of strangers' computers. He then issued threats — which appeared to come from the computer's owner — and a series of riddles that captured the attention of the national media. The case highlighted the Japanese police's tendency to extract confessions from suspects, as four people owned up to crimes which the National Police Agency (NPA) later admitted they did not commit. Computers belonging to each had been infected with a Trojan Horse virus, introduced via a link on the popular Japanese chat forum 2channel. Police held one falsely suspected person for several weeks before media and a cyber crime expert received anonymous messages containing information that investigators conceded could only have been known by the real culprit. In one message, investigators were told to go to Enoshima, an island off Tokyo, and to look for a cat that turned out to be wearing a collar on which was a memory card. The card held details of the code and malicious program he had used to gain remote control of victim's computers.
mrspoonsi writes: Apple announced it will spend about $2 billion to build a new data center in Mesa, Arizona. It will be housed in buildings formerly used by GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT), which went bankrupt last year after failing to supply sapphire display covers for the iPhone 6. the data center will be powered entirely by renewable energy. it will be a "command center for our global networks." Apple has said it would help find work for people affected by GTAT's bankruptcy. It's possible some of those former GTAT employees might help construct the new command center. When Apple initially partnered with GTAT to make sapphire displays, the company invested millions in a sapphire production facility. It makes sense that Apple would want to do something with the building if it couldn't make sapphire there.
mrspoonsi writes: Reports of RadioShack's demise are nothing new, but now it seems like the electronics retailer may be done for good. Bloomberg reports that company is in talks with Sprint to hand over around half of its remaining stores to the wireless company. The rest of RadioShack's locations will close, and those that are included in the deal will be painted yellow and black. This means the shops where most of us purchased parts for a project will cease to exist. Nothing's final, and until the ink is dry, another suitor could swipe up the company and allow it to keep on chuggin' along. RadioShack is facing bankruptcy after years of declining sales, so even if Sprint doesn't agree to buy those stores, a move of some kind is imminent for the company that's been selling tech since 1921.