Mark Wycislik-Wilson

US and UK blacklist China's ZTE

ZTE building logo

The US Department of Commerce has implemented a ban on American companies selling components to ZTE. The Chinese telecoms firm is being punished for violating sanctions on Iran and North Korea after pleading guilty last year.

At the same time, the UK's cyber defense watchdog, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), has warned UK telecoms firms that the use of ZTE equipment or services pose a risk to national security. The action taken by the two nations is expected to have severe implications for the company.

Continue reading

Weibo reverses homosexuality policy in China: 'We're no longer targeting gay content'

Weibo homepage

Following a huge backlash over the weekend, Weibo -- the Chinese equivalent of Twitter -- has announced a reversal of a policy that would have seen gay content banned from the platform.

Originally announced on Friday, the "clean-up" operation was due to last three months, and covered violence and pornography as well as homosexual content. Now, however, Weibo has felt the pressure of public outcry and backed down saying: "We're no longer targeting gay content".

Continue reading

Thousands of Android apps have built-in crypto keys and passwords

Red and blue security padlock

A large number of free Android apps suffer with flaky security because software developers are leaving cryptographic keys embedded and passwords hard-coded.

Speaking at the BSides security conference in San Francisco, software vulnerability analyst Will Dormann revealed how he had found serious security problems in thousands upon thousands of apps. After testing 1.8 million apps, he found almost 20,000 featured built-in passwords and keys, and even when a separate password store was used, user data was still open to attack from simple password crackers.

Continue reading

Linus Torvalds says Linux kernel v5.0 'should be meaningless'

Linux kernel

Following the release of Linux kernel 4.16, Linus Torvalds has said that the next kernel will be version 5.0. Or maybe it won't, because version numbers are meaningless.

The announcement -- of sorts -- came in Torvalds' message over the weekend about the first release candidate for version 4.17. He warns that it is not "shaping up to be a particularly big release" and questions whether it even matters what version number is slapped on the final release.

Continue reading

Macros arrive in Google Sheets to help automate your workflow

Spreadsheet with cash and pen

Spreadsheets may not be the most exciting tools out there, but there's no denying that they're important. If you use Google Sheets as part of your number crunching process, there's some great news: Google is adding macro support.

While it was previously possible to automate tasks through scripts, the newly added support for direct macro recording simplifies things greatly. Sheets can now automatically convert macro actions into an Apps Script, and the macros are designed for use on cloud-based files.

Continue reading

SEGA announces the Mega Drive Mini

SEGA Mega Drive Mini

Nintendo enjoyed great success when it nostalgically released the NES Classic and SNES Classic mini consoles. Happy to ride the retro game revival wave, SEGA is following suit and releasing its own mini console -- the Mega Drive Mini.

The original console was launched in the late 80s; it was known as the SEGA Genesis in North America, but in its home country of Japan and the rest of the world it was the Mega Drive. SEGA announced the Mega Drive Mini at an event in Japan, and while details are currently a little thin on the ground, excitement is already building about this latest mini console -- but there will certainly be disappointment that there will be no Sonic 3.

Continue reading

Upcoming Gmail redesign will also herald the arrival of self-destructing emails

Glowing Gmail icon

Just a few days ago we reported about the upcoming redesign of Gmail on the web. Delving further into the redesign we find that there are new features, including self-destructing emails.

With a new "Confidential Mode", Gmail will not only give users the ability to set an expiry date for the emails they send to people, but also put restrictions on messages to prevent them from being printed or forwarded.

Continue reading

Leaked memo shows Apple threatens leakers with criminal action

Apple dropped in water

A leaked Apple memo reveals that last year the company identified 29 leakers within its ranks, 12 of whom were arrested. The memo warns that employees that leak company information have "everything to lose".

There is obviously a wonderful irony to the leaking of a memo about leaking, but it also gives something of an insight into just how seriously Apple takes the matter. The company is notoriously secretive about its upcoming products, and willing to go to great lengths to ensure information does not make its way out early (although -- in a second dose of delicious irony -- the FCC has just "leaked" images of an as-yet-unreleased gold iPhone X).

Continue reading

Microsoft launches Defending Democracy Program to protect against hacking and misinformation

Square Microsoft logo

Concern about Russian interference in both the US presidential election and the UK Brexit referendum highlighted the importance the internet now plays in political campaigns. But as well as being a powerful tool, it's also something that is open to abuse and manipulation.

This is something Microsoft recognizes, and the company is launching a new Defending Democracy Program with the express aim of safeguarding the electoral processes.

Continue reading

Weibo bans gay content as part of 'clean-up'

Chinese flag with rainbow flag

Chinese microblogging service Sina Weibo has begun the process of removing gay content from its platform in order to comply with new laws. Violent and pornographic content is also subject to blocking or removal, and a lot of fan fiction has fallen victim.

Weibo -- comparable to Twitter -- has 392 million active monthly users, and a three-month campaign is now underway to help create what the company describes as a "clean and harmonious community environment" in accordance with China's "laws and regulations such as the Cyber Security Law".

Continue reading

Google loses big 'right to be forgotten' case -- and it could set an important precedent

Google logo

A businessman with an historic criminal conviction has won his case against Google in a "right to be forgotten" lawsuit seeking to remove information about his conviction from search results.

The case, heard today in London, could set a precedent and lead to a series of similar cases from other people with spent convictions. The anonymous businessman -- known only as NT2 -- has a conviction for conspiracy to intercept communications from more than a decade ago and spent six months in prison for the crime.

Continue reading

Android P could be Android Popsicle

Android Popsicle

Given the order of the alphabet, it came at no surprise that the name of the successor to Android Oreo was going start with the letter P. Until now it has simply been referred to as Android P, but now Google may have given away what the full name will be.

Over on Instagram, Google shared a series of images which were designed to be screengrabbed and used as wallpapers -- something which has become common on Instagram. One of the wallpapers features popsicles, leading to speculation that Android P will in fact be called Android Popsicle.

Continue reading

Microsoft releases Project Honolulu as Windows Admin Center

Square Microsoft store logo

It has been a while since Microsoft first mentioned Project Honolulu, and several months down the line it has now been released. Hitting general availability sees Microsoft officially revealing the name: Windows Admin Center.

There have already been several previews of Project Honolulu/Windows Admin Center, but now Microsoft will start the big push to encourage sysadmins to use it to manage their Windows Server and Windows 10 deployments.

Continue reading

Is your smartphone lying to you about having the latest Android security updates?

Updating Android

If you thought your Android phone was patched with all of the latest security updates, it might be time to think again. A report by Security Research Labs found that some phone manufacturers were not only failing to deliver security updates, but were hiding this fact from users.

The company found that some devices suffered a "patch gap" whereby manufacturers altered the date reported to Android -- and users -- about when security updates were last installed, without actually installing any patches.

Continue reading

Apple encourages the switch to 64-bit with 'not optimized for Mac' message

Apple logo on MacBook

Today Apple started its push of 64-bit apps. The company's desire to banish 32-bit software and move everyone to modern, 64-bit versions is no secret and now it is starting the process of encouraging people to make the switch.

With macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, messages will start to appear when 32-bit apps are run. They say "[app name] is not optimized for Mac" and they only appear once so as not to be a pest, but it's a gentle nudge for users and developers alike that the future for Apple is very much going to be based on 64-bits.

Continue reading

© 1998-2018 BetaNews, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy.